5 Expert Tips for Being Able to Manage Your Money More Effectively

Stress about money and finances afflicts many of us. Nearly 40% of Americans couldn’t pay an unforeseen $400 bill without going into credit or taking out a loan. With so many people struggling to make ends meet, learning how to effectively manage your money is more important than ever.

Unfortunately, there is no single formula that can be employed to make you financially stable. However, there are several tips that can put you on the road to managing your finances effectively and making your paycheck go as far as possible. Here are the 5 expert tips to help manage your money more effectively.

Make a Budget

The first step to becoming financially sustainable is to know how much money you are bringing in each month, and how much you are spending. If you are spending more than you are bringing in, then you need to make some changes.

A weekly budget will give you a clear idea on how much money you can spend on leisure activities each week and help you track your outgoings. By sticking to a budget, you can avoid going into debt and ensure you are putting enough aside to save for a long-term financial goal.

Establish Financial Goals

Everybody has long-term financial goals. These might be saving for a new car, a vacation, or to buy a property. Unless you clearly define these goals and set a timeline for achieving them, you will not be able to hit them.

As part of your budget, you should be setting aside a fixed amount of money to put towards your long-term goals. This should be set aside as soon as you receive your paycheck. It might help to open a savings account and set up automatic payments so that as soon as your paycheck clears the money set aside for saving leaves the account. This is an effective way to prioritize long-term financial security.

Establish a Passive Income

The rise of the internet has provided a wealth of passive income opportunities. From establishing a successful blog to drop shipping, affiliate marketing or becoming a social media influencer, the possibilities are endless.

For a list of passive income ideas that are really easy to do, click the link.

Axe Unnecessary Recurring Payments

One of the most common financial drains are recurring payments. Sure, when you signed onto the phone deal $40 a month didn’t seem like a lot. But 10 months later, you have paid $400 and the phone is no longer new.

Your recurring monthly payments should be the first things under the microscope when you are trying to get your finances in order. You should be asking yourself whether you really need that subscription; how many times you have used that membership; and how often you watch that streaming service. Anything that isn’t necessary should go.

Ask for Advice

Asking for financial advice is something few people do. However, as you become more financially stable, a financial planner can help you maximize your investments, boost your savings and help you hit those long-term financial goals.

You don’t have to use a costly financial advisory service. Many community groups offer free, independent financial advisory workshops and family members who are responsible with money are an underutilized source of free financial advice. Don’t be afraid to reach out when you are in need of assistance.

Hammock App Review | Up to $200 Short Term Loans

Understanding what you’re getting into when you get a loan is never easy. There are establishment fees, there are monthly fees. There are interest rates, and fee caps. There is compounding interest and the dreaded late fee. Short term loans and payday loans have been overrun with these hidden fees are confusing interest rate calculations for as long as they’ve existed.

Hammock is a brand new way of offering short term loans to Australians. The concept is simple: get up to $200 of your paycheck early. No interest. Pay only a $10 flat rate per month, like a Netflix or Spotify subscription. Pay back the $200 on your next payday. 

That’s right, Hammock has done away with interest, establishment fees, late fees, etc. For just the flat rate price that you’re used to paying for Netflix or Spotify, you can access your own pay (that you earned!) early.

How does it work? Well, the Hammock app asks you to connect your bank account. We connect to all the major Australian Banks (Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac) as well as local and regional banks like Heritage Bank and CUA.

Once you connect your bank, Hammock predicts your employer and pay cycle. For example, we predict in this case that someone works at Woolworths and is paid once a month, on the 15th of the month. We do this so that we can accurate predict when you’ll get paid next in order to get back the up to $200 loan.

As with any loan, always borrow wisely. It is best to only borrow what you need and be sure to have a payment program that you stick to. While short term loans can be beneficial, make sure you do know exactly what you are getting into with regards to how much you have to pay back.

Top 3 Reasons Tech Support Helps Customer Experience

In all of it’s various capacities, tech support can bring the help you never knew you needed when providing the best service for your customers. Customers will inevitably run into problems while using your product or service. And if those problems are Information Technology (IT) related, a tech support team is who they will need to talk to. User errors, basic bug glitches, and other more in-depth technical issues are often a customer mystery and require knowledgeable help. Sometimes even setup and installation is tricky and requires technical support assistance. But without a tech support merchant account in place to handle these requests, your customers are left misusing your product and questioning your effectiveness. In fact, high churn rates are associated with businesses that don’t have a tech support staff.

So at this point tech support seems like a requirement to do business. If you’re not yet convinced, the following reasons are an outline of the perks to having a dedicated tech support team.

1. End Customer Confusion

Depending on your industry type and business offering, tech support might be necessary for your customers to understand just exactly how to use the functionality of your service.

For many online service providers or technology-based brands, tech support is essential. Customers may be using your company for the first time and be unfamiliar with you and what you do. They are going to have questions and run into issues…frequently. Offering remote options for support will lead to less confusion and more satisfaction.

Live chat options, customer technical support phone lines, or a dedicated email are easy ways to implement this.

2. Decrease Response Times

Despite the value tech support brings to a business’ offerings, not everyone has jumped on board yet with including these features. Tech support inclusion can culminate as the competitive edge that draws new customers in.

As soon as an issue arises, there will be someone on the line ready to assist. For a confused customer, this is a big relief. But it’s not only good for the users, it’s also great for customer retention. The response time for addressing customer issues directly correlates to happy users and greater retention rates.

This leads to the third reason a tech support team would help your business-

3. Keep a Healthy Retention Rate

You fought hard for your customers and naturally you want them to continue using your services. To do this you have to continue demonstrating your value even after securing a sale. While there are other ways of executing this, adding a tech support team is like killing two birds with one stone. Bird one demonstrates continued value while bird two provides support.

Set Your Business Up With Tech Support

There are two options moving forward with providing IT and technical support. You can provide in-house services or outsource it to an established company. Of course there are pros and cons for both options.

Pros and Cons for in-house support

 

– You have complete control over the user experience.– Requires a team to handle the amount of customer contact requests.
– The team in place will have pre-existing knowledge about your product or service.– May be more expensive than outsourced options.

Pros and Cons for outsourced support

 

– No need to hire, train, and manage an in-house team.– No control over the quality of support given.
– Often less expensive than in-house support– They will be operating without hands-on knowledge, only what you provide.

 

If you choose to continue with the in-house option, researching how to setup the team for success will be a huge help. Building the team, managing the support provided, and securing a tech support merchant account are all steps to be taken for your chance to add significant value to your business.

The Essential Startup Checklist to Set You Up for Success

20 percent of new businesses don’t live long enough to celebrate their first birthday. 30 percent don’t make it past two years and 50 percent don’t keep their doors open beyond five years. Stretch this timeframe to 10 years and the percentage of businesses that fail shoots up to 70.

Whichever way you slice this information, one thing is clear: the odds are stacked against startups.

Fear not, though!

Fortunate favors the prepared, which is why we’re sharing startup checklist you need to set up yourself for success.

An Idea That Solves a Unique Problem

The first step to starting a successful business is to offer a product or service that solves a real or unique market problem.

Thank of any successful startup you know. Doesn’t it offer a unique product or service?

Let’s take Uber, for instance.

The startup offers an online taxi-hailing solution, so people no longer have to go to a taxi station or flag one by the roadside. These days, the taxi comes to you. Yes, the startup is currently facing a boatload of problems, but with a reported $120 billion valuation, it’s pretty much the definition of success.

Before launching your startup, do a viability test to determine whether your idea and the resulting product/service have a strong market demand.

A Business Plan

A common mistake entrepreneurs make is setting up startups without a business plan. Don’t be like them!

Starting a business without a business plan is a sure way to fail. It’s more like building a multi-story house with a blueprint. It’ll likely crumble to the ground at some point.

As such, spend time on writing a business plan for your startup. Ensure it includes the following:

  • Executive summary
  • Company description – includes founder information ad business model
  • Organizational structure
  • Product and service offerings
  • Marketing and sales strategy
  • Capital needs and profit projections

A good business plan not only serves as a pathway to success but also make it easier to get funding. Potential investors will want to study your plan before making any financial commitments.

Adequate Capital

Now that we’re on the money vibe, another essential item on any startup checklist is adequate capital.

Your business plan will flesh out the amount of money you need to launch the startup and keep it on its feet until it’s generating enough revenues to sustain itself.

However, chances are high you lack enough money to start a business. What should you do?

The good news is there are a couple of ways to finance a new business. You can crowdfund on platforms such as Kickstarter, borrow from friends and family, take out a personal or business loan from an institutional lender, or reach out to equity investors.

Regardless of the source your turn to, ensure you have access to enough capital before opening your startup. Don’t work under the assumption your business will start generating profits soon after opening. It’s possible to burn through cash for several months or even years without turning a profit, so a sizeable stash of cash in the bank will keep you going.

Co-Founder Agreement  

If you have a co-founder, you might want to sit down for this:

Studies show startups with two or more founders have greater odds of success, raise 30 percent more capital, and grow their customer base 3 times as fast. Indeed, Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter, and several other successful companies were founded by more than one person.

However, co-founding can be a recipe for disaster, especially when disagreements crop up. To prevent future problems, it’s important to thrash out co-founder agreement before you establish your company. This should clearly identify each founder’s roles, responsibilities, and liabilities.

With an agreement in place, it’s easy to iron out issues and even fight off legal challenges in a court of law.

Permits and Licenses

In September 2018, Lime, a $1 billion scooter startup was denied a permit to operate in San Francisco. This is just one of the many startups that go out of business because they’re unable to secure the appropriate permits and licenses.

The lesson here is you need to ensure your business is properly licensed and has the relevant permits before launch.

Also, it pays to do a study and try to forecast how regulatory changes in the future will affect your business. If you’re in an industry that’s prone to regulatory shifts, it’s best to proceed with caution. In some cases, it might be better to abandon your idea entirely than pump money into a startup that can be shut by a change in regulations.

The Right Business Insurance

Entrepreneurship is all about taking risks.

If your startup fails, you’ll lose money. If your product causes harm to consumers, they’ll slap you with a class action lawsuit that can render you bankrupt. If an employee sustains an injury on the job, you’ll have to compensate them for their pain and any loss of income. The risks are endless.

Luckily, you have the power to transfer the risk to another person. All you have to do is purchase the right business insurance. Be sure to learn more about the various insurance products for businesses and identify the ones your startup needs.

Don’t Launch Without This Startup Checklist!

Although the failure rates for new businesses are on the decline, a lot rides on your preparation before launch.

With this startup checklist, you now know the bases you need to cover before your startup opens its doors to customers. And, this list is by no means exhaustive. Depending on the nature of your business, there are other additional details you might need to take care of before opening.

Good luck and keep tabs on our blog for more business lessons and tips.

Various Ways to Add Tradelines to Your Credit Report

For a layman, understanding tradelines can be difficult unless an expert explains more about what they are. This term is used to refer to the credit accounts that people hold. Those with credit accounts can be considered to have tradelines in their credit history. However, not all tradelines get to appear in your credit history, and this can affect both your credit score and history.

According to financial experts, people should focus on adding tradelines that are positive and avoid those that are negative. This is useful for the future when a person or business would like to obtain credit or loans. So, how can a person go about adding tradelines to her or his credit report? Follow this article to find out more information.

Open New Credit Accounts

People shy away from opening a credit account. But one benefit of this is that you create an opportunity to build positive credit history through the new account. This tradeline offers a chance to boost your credit score as well. A credit score can increase with the increase in available credit. A word of caution on this matter is to only open a new line of credit that you will be in a position to repay without any constraints. Defaulting would be a problem, and you would end up causing negative tradelines.

Add Existing Accounts to Your Credit History

Another excellent way to add a tradeline to your credit history is through the use of existing accounts that belong to others. If you have a rich uncle, aunt, cousin or friend who has been repaying loans on time and taking care of c

redit responsibly, you can ask her or him to add your name to a line of credit. This move will be a significant boost to your credit history with almost immediate effect. However, you need to maintain good credit on your existing credit and repay bills on time to avoid damaging the credit score of the other person and, consequently, yours.

If you do not know how to go about this, you can seek help from credit score experts on the boostcredit101.com/ website. They have all the know-how and recommendations about what to do. While doing this, do not forget to keep monitoring your credit report to understand the progress and detect any challenges on time.

Adding Other Bill Tradelines

The tradelines of some bills like rent can now be added to your credit history. In the past, this was not possible. After thorough consideration, financial authorities in many countries now consider this to be an important tradeline that many people can use to their advantage. The majority of people pay their rent on time, and this tradeline provides an excellent boost to the credit score. You need to choose one reporting service in your country and let them forward your credit report to the credit bureaus.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to add a tradeline to your credit history, it is time to do it. It is important to have your credit history accurately recorded for the sake of your future. As you do this, remember to track the score through the credit bureaus because this offers you the information on file at any one time.

A Tropical Investment: Here’s What You Should Know Before Investing In Caribbean Island Real Estate

Whether you’re looking for a vacation home or a great retirement spot, purchasing Caribbean island real estate is a lucrative opportunity. Who wouldn’t want to live out their days enjoying a sunny day on the ocean? 

Making this real estate investment is an excellent idea, but you need to make sure you’re fully informed before you sell your old house and move. The last thing you want to do is buy a home that turns out to be a financial drain down the road. 

Read on for four things you should know before purchasing real estate in the Caribbean.

You Might Not Be Able to Work There

Depending on which Caribbean island you have your eye on, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll be able to find full-time work there. If you were planning on truly relocating, this is a major factor to keep in mind. 

In Jamaica, for example, it’s easier to find work if you’re a citizen of the British Commonwealth. If not, however, you’ll have to apply and be approved for a work permit before you leave. This means Americans can’t just fly down to Jamaica and expect to get a job. 

Puerto Rico, on the other hand, is a territory of the United States, so there’s no work permit required. 

Photos Can Be Misleading

We’ve all seen the pictures of a home that looks absolutely perfect. It’s right on the beach, with a gorgeous view of the ocean, and lots of space between you and your closest neighbor. The real estate agent is raving about it. Should you buy it? 

Here’s the thing — photos can be misleading. That fantastic ocean view might not be visible from your house and the house itself could be in a state of disrepair. 

You should always see the house yourself in person before signing anything. 

Weather Is Important

The image of the Caribbean is of a place where it’s always sunny and the weather is eternally perfect. However, the reality is that it rains a lot on Caribbean islands — and hurricanes are a real threat. 

Make sure your house won’t flood in case of heavy rains or storms so that you don’t get a nasty surprise down the line. 

Not Everyone Is Trustworthy

Because the Caribbean is such a fantastic place to live, there are a lot of pseudo-agents out there trying to make a quick buck off of unsuspecting investors. Not everyone who claims to be a real estate agent actually has the credentials or ethics you’re looking for. 

Be discerning in who you work with and avoid people who seem eager to push you into a deal you don’t want. You’re better off working with an organization like Strong|Edge Realty to make sure that you’re doing business with someone who has your best interests in mind. 

Invest in Caribbean Island Real Estate

Deciding to invest in Caribbean island real estate just might be one of the best decisions you ever make. Following the advice in this post will help you make sure that your new home is the house of your dreams — and not a nightmare waiting to happen. 

For more tips on how to grow your wealth, subscribe for free.

Cannabis Cash: How to Invest in Marijuana and Make Big Money

What if cannabis could help your bank account get high?

As an industry, cannabis is absolutely taking off. And there has never been a better time to invest in this industry.

However, not everyone knows how to invest in marijuana. How can you learn what you need to know and still strike while the iron is hot?

Don’t worry: we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to invest in marijuana. Keep reading to discover our secrets!

Why Invest in Marijuana?

We’ve put together a solid guide to help you invest in marijuana. First, though, we should answer the question: why should you be investing in marijuana in the first place?

The short answer is because the market is booming. The longer answer is the inevitability of legalization.

In America, more and more states are legalizing recreational marijuana. And every new state that legalizes cannabis makes it a safer investment.

Recently, Canada legalized marijuana throughout the country. This led to a further explosion of cannabis manufacture and investment.

While there are no guarantees in the world of investment, cannabis shows no signs of slowing down. And many people want to invest now and get in on what they see as the ground floor of a major opportunity.

How to Get Started

If you’re a veteran investor, you already understand this first step. For everyone else, this is where you get up to speed on investment.

To buy any kind of stock, you need to have a brokerage account. But which stocks will you buy?

Cannabis companies are like any other companies. The ones that are publicly traded are all publicly listed and easy to investigate.

To do more homework before getting started, you should consider checking out the National Institute for Cannabis Investors.

There’s An App for That

As you know, there are apps for just about everything now. And yes, that includes investing in cannabis.

One of our favorite apps for really casual investors in Robinhood. The app is easy to use and makes it really easy to get your feet wet in the world of investment.

When you’re ready to take it to another level, you may want to use a web-based service instead of an app. One of the best sites to use is Vanguard, and it provides many different options for investors whose cannabis confidence has grown.

Diversify Those Investments

Sometimes, newbie investors seem like they are playing poker instead of buying stocks. That’s because they are tempted to go “all in.”

Keep in mind that there are a ton of different companies you can invest in. And while cannabis is growing in demand, many different factors about legalization and regulation could quickly throw your investment in jeopardy.

That’s why most veteran investors encourage people to diversify. And diversifying your investments can work on multiple levels.

First of all, you should invest in more than just cannabis. This is like hedging your bets: one or two investments may fall through, but at least some of those investments are likely to pay off.

And even with cannabis investments, we recommend investing in more than one company. Fortunately, there are plenty to choose from!

Who Should I Invest In?

Only you can figure out which cannabis companies you want to invest in. However, we’ve got some info on a few of our favorite companies below that may help you make your decision.

Canopy Growth Corporation has been living up to their name recently. This company’s stock price actually doubled in 2018. Also, they were the first cannabis company to be publicly traded throughout North America.

They say it’s not what you know but who you know. That’s what makes Aurora Cannabis so powerful: their rumored partnership with Coca-Cola to create a kind of CBD soda. If that rumor turns out to be true, your investment will explode overnight.

Like to invest in more of a sure thing? You may want to invest in GW Pharmaceuticals. As the producer of an FDA-approved CBD medicine, this is a company that already has the government on their side.

Keeping An Eye on the Market

Think that investing in marijuana means sitting back and getting rich? Unfortunately, it involves doing a lot of “homework.”

Specifically, you will need to keep an eye on the market. This can range from the overall health of the stock market, in general, all the way to the performance of your chosen cannabis stocks.

If you’re not already reading it, you should regularly check out the MarketWatch website. You’ll get plenty of cannabis-specific investment information on top of general market info.

Don’t forget that if you use apps and websites to manage your investments, you can arrange to have notifications sent to you for certain events. Between this and your market research, you’ll always be on top of the investment world.

It Takes Time

Let’s be honest: many people look to investing because they think it’s a legitimate way to “get rich quick.” In reality, this isn’t likely to happen.

While there are certainly stories of people buying the right stocks and becoming rich overnight, this is exceedingly rare. What is more common is that your investment grows slowly over a period of time.

Be sure to keep this in mind when determining how much to invest and what to invest in. If your big stock payday is going to be years down the line (if it ever comes at all), you need to avoid investing anything more than you can afford to lose.

Low and Slow

Our biggest advice? You should start your marijuana investment “low and slow.”

What that means is to invest very little at first and take your time learning about the industry. As you become more comfortable, you should invest more.

Ultimately, the more you know, the easier it is for your investment to grow.

Final Thoughts

Now you know how to invest in marijuana. But do you know how else to grow your wealth?

At OnMakingMoney, we specialize in transforming your finances. To see how we can help, come check out our investment advice today!

How to Launch a Business That’s Ready to Succeed

Have you always wanted to run your own company? You’re not alone. There are plenty of people around the world today that dream of launching their own business while they fetch coffee for an unappreciative boss or answer boring emails all day. When you run your own organization, you get to choose what kind of products or services you sell, when you work, and even what kind of clients you deal with. You get a huge amount of control over your professional life.

Of course, while plenty of people have tried to start their own business before, only a percentage have succeeded in making money out of their venture. If you want to ensure that your new idea is set up to succeed, follow these tips.

1.     Do Something that You’re Passionate About

The easiest way to make sure that you’ll stay motivated and committed to your career as an entrepreneur is to start a business doing something that you love. While you might not enjoy all the aspects of running your business, like dealing with taxes or budgeting for rough patches, you should at least feel passionate about the industry that you’re engaged with.

Think about what you love doing in your spare time. If you’re the kind of person who always spends their time away from work reading books and writing blogs for instance, then you might launch a content marketing business. If you like fishing, then you could start a fishing charter company. The possibilities are endless.

2.     Start While You’re Still Employed

As tempting as it can be to quit your day job as quickly as possible, it’s important not to rush into starting your business until you’re truly ready. You’re not going to be able to make money straight away, so it’s best to stay in your standard job while you’re still building up the first stages of your company. Being employed while you’re starting ensures that you’ll have extra cash to invest in your business while you find clients and customers.

Additionally, if you commit yourself to finding a customer base before you give up your day job, you’ll be able to make certain that your idea is viable before you give up your position. If no-one’s buying what you’re selling, you can go back to the drawing board without losing too much cash.

3.     Get Some Emotional Support

When launching a company, a lot of people think about the professional support that they’re going to need along the way from accountants and even employees, but there is another source of support that you’ll need too. Ultimately, running your own company isn’t easy, and there are going to be times when you’re tempted to give up. This is the time when you’re going to need help from a team of dedicated friends and family members.

Gather a team of loved ones around you that you can count on to keep you on the right track when times are tough. It might also be helpful to look for a mentor to guide you too!

4.     Get to Grips with your Financials

Ultimately, you need to spend money to make money. Before you can start earning a real living from your business, you’re going to need to invest in things like marketing, website building, and even paying suppliers for the materials you need to make your products. Make sure that you know where you’re going to get this cash from before you get started, and how you’re going to pay it back.

Comparing loans online will give you an opportunity to search for the business loan provider with the lowest possible interest rates so that you can spend less money on your debts, and more on making sure your company can thrive.

5.     Find Help for the Legal and Tax Side of Things

Finally, while there are many complicated things to consider when you begin running a business, there are few things more difficult to get your head around as a beginner than the legal and tax regulations that surround your business. It’s very time-consuming and expensive to try and fix tax and VAT problems after they’ve already happened. With that in mind, make sure that you’re prepared for anything by hiring the right support.

There are plenty of professionals out there that can guide you through things like tax management, VAT registration and more. Don’t try and go it alone when you’re handling these things for the first time. It’s better to pay the money and have the peace of mind.