5 Things Everybody in Debt Needs to Know

As of 2019, the average household debt in the United States was almost $10,000, totaling over one trillion dollars of debt in the entire country.

If you are one of the millions of people that feel like you are drowning in debt every month, here are 5 things you need to know.

5 Do’s and Don’ts When You’re in Debt

1. Don’t borrow from Peter to pay Paul. Many people get so far in debt that the only way to pay one bill is to take out another credit card or loan. They get the mentality that if they are already this far in debt, why not go a little further? The truth is that without a detailed plan to get out of debt, adding more to it is not going to help.

2. Don’t add unnecessary items to your debt. Using your credit cards to buy food or pay your electricity bill might be an urgent, understandable emergency. But using them to buy the shoes that you just had to have or pay the Netflix bill for the month are not good uses for a bill that is going to accrue interest.

3. Do be careful when accepting a zero-interest credit card. Zero interest credit cards sound like a dream come true at the time. If you use them right, you can transfer high-interest balances to the new card. But you’ll need to pay those balances off before the interest term ends and your rates skyrocket. In some cases, your new rates may be even higher than the one you were trying to get out of before.

If you do accept a zero-interest card and transfer that big ugly balance over to the new card, be sure you use those monthly payment-free bonuses wisely. You won’t have the old payment and you won’t have a big payment on your new card for a while, so that’s the time to invest that extra money into buckling down to pay off your debt.

4. Do work with a professional to reduce your debt. Going it alone is not the strategy that works for most people. You can become easily frustrated when it looks like your debt is not going anywhere. Professionals have tried and true strategies and debt consolidation tips that work.

5. Don’t fall for “checks in the mail” scams. Once you start actively researching ways to get out of debt, you’ll probably find multiple lending companies sending you “checks” in your mailbox. Some of them are real checks and it can be tempting to cash them and end your worries. Check the fine print, though. The strings attached to “free” money are usually not worth the cost.

You Can Get Out of Debt

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to find your way out debt. Millions of others before you have done it through strategies that work. Find the one that works for you and you will be enjoying your hard-earned money yourself before you know it.

Corporate Class – 5 Secrets to Polishing Your Company’s Image

The way in which people perceive your business can play a significant part in how prominent and successful it is. You can’t put your branding on a shack and call it a multi-million-dollar corporation. Nor can you bowl down a children’s orphanage then call yourself a corporation that cares about “the little guy.”

Everything you do in the public eye is all for the sake of polishing your company’s image. If it has been some time since you pulled out the branding Brasso, then it might be time to check these points below and see if you’re doing everything you can for your company image:

Don’t Skimp on Your Head Office

How the general public views you can mean everything, which is why you should always take great care in the selection of a commercial property to house your venture. When the time comes to lease or buy a new premise, ensure it’s one that falls in line with your company direction and values. For example, if you are all about “leading the way” or “shaping the future” then your head office needs to reflect that. It should also offer the perception that your corporation is at the pointy end of success.

Invest in Your Marketing & Advertising

If you want your current and future customers to remember who you are and continue using your services, then you need a reasonably big marketing and advertising budget. You then need to use the correct avenues to get your company in the public eye.

Facebook and other social media platforms tend to be the most popular at the moment, but more traditional methods such as newspaper and radio still have their place in the modern world. What’s more, email marketing campaigns are making a comeback.

Better Branding

If you’re trying to polish your company image, consider whether a brand refresher could be in the pipeline. Depending on the years you have been in business for, your current logo and slogan may no longer be relevant to the masses.

However, it’s important to put a lot of time into any branding changes to avoid making a dreadful to mistake. What’s more, you will need to spend a significant sum of money advertising any branding changes to ensure your customers know you’re the same company.

The Feel-Good Factor

A lot of people choose to shop or do business with corporations based on their moral values or who they support. If you want to appear favorable in your customers’ eyes, then look at sponsoring or supporting a good cause. While there are several things worth considering to avoid impacting your bottom line, being socially responsible or charitable can do wonders for your company’s image.

The Best in Press

Polishing your company image can be as effortless as hiring an excellent PR manager or agency for your firm. Such a person or team can be a valuable asset as they have contacts in the media who can show you off in public in the best light. They can cover special things you are doing in the community, display you in the public eye, and even help with marketing stunts and events that lift your brand and image.

Whether you’re trying to rejuvenate your business, change public perception, or dust off the cobwebs and inject life into your brand, then you will quickly discover there are several ways to go about it. Hire the experts, invest in quality commercial property, and play on the feel-good factor to show social responsibility. Once you put all these steps in place, your company image will be sparkling clean in no time.

Boss Costs – 5 Simple Changes Small Business Owners Can Make to Save Money in 2019

Running a small business is hard; most of your competition is already well established, you’ve probably had to go into debt to cover your start up costs and managing employees is a constant reminder of why the saying “not my circus, not my monkeys” exists. While we can’t help you with staffing or the competition, we can give you some pointers on how to save money in your business this year:

Location

We’re constantly being told that location is everything in business. However, in the internet age, your product or service might not require customers to come directly to you, meaning you can keep your office pretty much anywhere. This gives you a distinct advantage, as you can either house your company in an area where rent is cheaper or capitalise on the extras offered by a serviced office. While it may seem counterproductive to have someone else manage your office for you, it can, in fact, be an easy cost saving measure as it means you won’t have to worry about expenses such as reception staff and cleaning.

Utilize Technology

How a business uses technology is arguable one of the most important factors regarding whether they will succeed or fail. Depending on your current knowledge of what’s available you may need to undergo training but once you’re across the available software and platforms for your industry, technology can really give your business a boost.

Firstly, the more you can automate, the fewer task your staff are required to perform. Not only does this allow you to reduce headcount but it also allows those who you choose to employ to be more productive. Advanced unified communications technology can also benefit you in a myriad of ways, as can electronic payment systems and cloud-based freight management software among others so it is highly advisable to look into what will work well for your business and implement it.

Go Green

An environmentally friendly workplace will help save your back pocket as well as the planet.

Going paperless will save you a surprisingly large chunk of cash, as will utilising energy saving products throughout your office. While this is mainly because a more energy efficient office means lower usage and therefore less associated costs, there may also be a scheme in your area which offers incentives for businesses to look after the planet.

Keep Receipts

Unless you’re on top of every single business account and expense, you’re probably missing out on numerous tax refunds. You should always aim to keep track of all outgoings wherever possible. If you’re struggling to keep up, then a small business accountant or bookkeeper will be able to assist you. If the IRS ever comes knocking, and trust us, it’s definitely a when not an if, it’s going to be a lot easier to deal with if you have accurate, well maintained, records.

Cost saving measures can be applied to almost any situation but this doesn’t always mean that they should be. While the tips outlined in this article can be safely implemented into pretty much any business, you should always look into what kind of impact any large decision will have on your operations.

Review your books and see where you are spending unnecessary funds. Saving money could be as simple as holding less catered meetings but if you’re really struggling you should never be ashamed to seek counsel from a financial advisor, if so many businesses didn’t need help they wouldn’t exist.

How Digital Banking Is Transforming Financial Services

Digital banking is incredibly important in the modern financial industry. Its significance can be attributed to the numerous benefits that appear, like retaining customers, attracting customers, reduced operational costs and even being ahead of the competition.

Banking infrastructure and technology services are in high demand right now, with digital banking demand growing at quite an unrivaled pace. IoT is empowering customers and businesses need to be digitized in order to stay competitive.

There are different key trends we can see in digital banking. They have to be analyzed in order to understand how digital banking transforms the financial industry. The main ones are presented below.

Banking And Financial Institutions Are Digitized

A large bank can drive a huge investment in digitization. Gradually, more and more banks understand that they cannot just upgrade the software that they now use. This is a continuous and expensive process. Established firms also understand how important it is to gather a lot of data. Digital banking offers a clear view of the customer’s behavior and needs. With digital banking, the banks have a new channel to advise and support users. Basically, the relationship between the bank and the customer is automatically improved.

Digital banking is not just about the retail customers. Most banks deal with thousands of smaller businesses. These businesses have to manage daily banking needs while maintaining their operations. With digital banking, businesses find it easier to handle transactions, keep track of their payments and disperse wages.

New Niche Applications Appear

Banking is constantly expanding. Consumer preferences are shifting and customers now need faster, better applications. As an example, PayPal has been on the market for over 20 years. It managed to simplify transfers of funds and payments as security is guaranteed. One of the really common banking functions (funds transfer) is simplified so the popularity of the service is quickly growing.

Niche applications are now being developed in the financial industry. Millions of customers move towards the use of digital banking applications offering new services, like loans with really attractive interest rates. Some of the loans are even designed for specific industries.

As an example, JP Morgan Chase launched an investing app that digital banking customers use. The app allows the digital banking user to conveniently trade while leveraging an in-built tool for portfolio-building.

Future Unexpected Opportunities

In the following years, it is expected that more small banks will fully digitize operations and will support paperless transactions. Consumers just do not want to go to the physical branches anymore. The new digital banks, those that are mostly present on the cloud, with zero traditional banking infrastructure and experience, will surely gain a huge traction, especially among the young customers.

As a last thing to keep in mind, there is a growing interest in the development and use of cryptocurrencies. This will also force platforms to add crypto investment and savings features. If this does not happen, customers are going to be lost. The world’s digital banking environment will surely grow, with transfers becoming simpler and simpler, all through the use of internet-connected devices.

Debt Dodgers – 5 Strategies to Avoid the Debt Trap Forever

Dealing with debt is a total drag. If you’ve experienced the vicious cycle in the past, reap some positivity from it today by letting it serve as a reminder. Forgive yourself for any mistakes you may have made back then, or, for the stress and toll it had on your lifestyle and family. It’s much healthier to focus on making sure you never end up in the situation again. Start by following these five foolproof strategies for living your best life and steering clear of debt.

1. Run Away From Credit Card Offers and Payday Lenders

The bigger the financier, the less likely they are to have your best interests at heart. If you find yourself in an emergency financial situation you can’t cover with your savings, take out a low interest loan from a community-focused lender. Their smaller, more affordable loans and financial counseling services are designed to help the community, unlike the big banks who will always try to upsell and sneakily offer more credit than you can afford to pay back.

2. Say No To Pay Later Schemes

If it’s not a matter of life or death and you’re offered to pay in increments rather than upfront, do not accept. If you cannot afford something at the moment, do not buy it. While this point may seem obvious, many people carry debt because of this common mistake. Whether it’s for a new television, car or just a bicycle, a pay-later scheme leaves you indebted to someone and can be risky if your expenses or financial situation changes. It is much safer to buy upfront or not at all.

3. Prioritize Your Emergency Savings Account

While you can’t predict the future, you certainly can do your best to safeguard it. Create one designated bank account strictly for emergency use and make sure it’s not easily accessible – maybe use a different bank. Calculate the cost of six months worth of living expenses and put that amount in your emergency fund. It may mean depleting your checking account or a bit of aggressive saving for a while but if one day, you fall into financial trouble or lose a job this will be your safety net.

4. Generate Multiple Streams of Income

Job security can be a bit of a misnomer if you only have one job. By generating your income from a few different sources, you’ll gain the capacity to earn more money and have a plan B should anything affect your main income source. Setting up an online store or website is easy if you’re an artist, craftsperson, or have a supply of anything valuable. You can generate ad revenue if you write a blog or create content online or even make money by outsourcing your services on gig sites or selling second-hand items.

5. Renegotiate Your Ongoing Expenses

It may surprise you to know that most service fees we pay for on a daily basis are negotiable. This is especially true for all privatized billing services like your energy and gas, insurance, bank, phone and internet providers to name a few. Visit a rate comparison site and explore the competition to find the lowest rates. Unless you’re already on the most cost-effective plan, present these numbers to your provider and a lot of the time, you’ll find they actually can afford to charge you a lot less!


Keep these tips in mind and pay close attention to your spending habits. You’ll be able to save more money, enjoy more freedom as well as financial security.

Savvy Savings – 4 Essential Tips to Help Families Save in Tight Times

Unfortunately, we’ve probably all had that horrible moment when we’ve looked at our finances and discovered that what’s coming in doesn’t cover what’s going out. That sinking feeling isn’t nice, but if we turn it into a stepping stone for a more stable game plan, it doesn’t have to lead to a freakout. Financial stability is something we all strive for and while it’s not as easily achievable for some than it is for others, it’s entirely possible to create a sound future on almost any income as long as you’re smart and disciplined with your money.

No more debt.

It’s tempting to reach for your credit card when you want or need something you can’t afford. This may provide a quick fix but your little plastic friend can send you into a spiral of debt if you’re not careful. Aim to live on as little borrowed money as possible and start your new journey towards financial security by consolidating and paying off any outstanding debts. Taking out one of the readily available small loans present in today’s market can help.

Set a budget.

Yes, the term budget is often considered a dirty word but you’re going to need one if you want to start building a nest egg for your family. Step one is working out what currently comes and goes from your household. Now that you understand your income, deduct all necessary fixed expenses and allocate the leftover funds until you’ve covered everything else you need. Save half of what’s left and use the remainder as flexible or “fun” money. This helps you feel less restricted and makes it easier to stick to your budget.

Be prepared.

Now that you’ve worked out how much you have to spend on groceries this pay cycle, work out a meal plan. Not only will this reduce spoilage, but it will also make cooking dinner on a work night far easier. Bonus points here if you get the whole family involved so everyone has a say and ensures everyone has something they wanted to eat at least once a week.

Cut them off.

Back when you were making your budget, you probably identified some unnecessary expenses. While luxuries such as premium television subscriptions, eating out and shopping just for the sake of it might be fun, they can place significant stress on your finances. If you can’t fit these into your play money allocation, it might time for them to go. You can revisit once your debt is paid off and there’s some savings in the bank, but for now, you’re better off without them. Try to find cheaper or free alternatives if you want to keep these extras as part of your lifestyle but if you simply can’t make it work, remember that no-one can do everything and that going without now will lead to a brighter future.

Saving is tough and very few people find themselves in a position where it’s an easy thing to do. Make sure you focus on why you’re making changes to your lifestyle and what you’re going to achieve rather than what you’re missing out on and don’t worry if you fall off the wagon. Jump back on, make the most of what you have and check in regularly to make sure everything is going to plan. One day you’ll be able to look back and thank your present self for doing it and that’s the best reward of all.

 

The Unknown Benefits of Working with a Real Estate Firm

Whether you’re looking for your next home, or you’re a real estate investor, working with an agent can provide you with the resources you need. From buying a home to managing rental property, the right real estate firm can help you meet your needs more efficiently. Your agent can save you time and money, but they can also help ensure you’re complying with tax laws and local ordinances throughout the purchase and management of your next property.

One thing real estate investors don’t consider is how much a real estate agent can help in terms of operating rental property. Your agent can assist in property management San Antonio, taking over the day to day obligations that go into keeping your property profitable. This includes ensuring each unit is occupied as consistently as possible, while also ensuring rent payments are made on time. Your agent begins by using their resources to find tenants with good histories, who can pass credit and background checks. This will ensure your property will continually generate a profit.

Your agent will also make sure the units are maintained in good condition. This means making sure repairs are made on a timely basis, so you won’t have to personally oversee the work. As a tenant vacates one of your units, the agent will evaluate the unit and determine any needs for repairs or updates. Their goal is to get the unit ready for the next tenant, so vacancy time will be minimized. Your agent understands that each day your unit is vacant is money lost.

Perhaps you’re just looking for your next home. This is still a good reason to rely on a firm like San Antonio Luxury Realty, because they can help you find the home that meets your needs. You’ll waste far less time scouring through real estate listings, when you leave the search to your agent. Simply tell them what you’re looking for and they will gather the luxury home listings that meet your needs. Since your agent is skilled in searching listings and is a part of a network of agents, he or she will be able to find listings that will appeal to you, while disregarding those that won’t meet your needs.

You’ll find that you’ll be invited to more open houses as well. Your agent will notify you of upcoming open houses, so you can be among the first to view the newest listings. They may even become aware of homes that will soon be available, so you can get a jump on other home buyers in your area. In an increasingly competitive market, this type of advantage cannot be underestimated.

These are just a few of the ways working with an agent will benefit you. Just as you would trust a lawyer to handle legal matters, or a doctor to treat an illness, your real estate agent can be trusted to help you find the ideal property to suit your needs.

How to Get a Loan if You Have Bad Credit

So, are you looking to make some much-needed home improvements? Maybe you are expecting a child and need to upgrade your car. Or perhaps you just fancy a nice break and want to take your family on holiday. But, your credit score is holding you back from securing the much-needed financial boost to make your plans a reality? Don’t worry! There are lenders that specialise in personal loans for those who have suffered with a bad credit score in the past. And, looking for these bad credit loans has never been easier so what are the options that are available to you?

Secured Loans

Secured loans require an asset of high value which is normally your property. What this means is that if you take out a loan and fail to keep up with the repayments, then your home could become the lender’s property. This type of loan is much easier to secure if you have a bad credit history because the lender has the security of your home as a financial backup.

Secured loans can be an excellent option for homeowners who are in need of a much-needed financial boost and are confident that they can make all of the loan repayments and on time. However, taking out a loan of this type isn’t a decision that you should make in a rush as it is a big financial commitment to make. Before taking out a secured loan, you must carefully evaluate your income and your outgoings to determine whether you can make the repayments.

Unsecured Loans

Unsecured loans are loans that are offered to individuals without the lender requiring a financial asset as security.  This means that the risk of not paying the money back in time is a lot lower compared to a secured loan. However, there are still a few drawbacks associated with taking out this type of loan.

In general, unsecured loans are much harder to obtain if you have a poor credit score, and if you want your loan application to be successful, you are likely to carry a much higher interest rate. However, this shouldn’t always be regarded as a negative thing. Unsecured loans are much easier to secure, and if you have a poor credit score that you want to improve, then this can be one of the most effective means of doing so.

Another drawback is that you default on an unsecured loan, the lender still has the legal right to take action against you in order to get the money back that they lent you.

Things You Can Do To Improve Your Bad Credit Score

Your credit score is a major key player as to whether you will secure any type of personal loan whether it be secured or unsecured. The better you have managed your finances in the past will mean that you are more likely to be offered lower interest rates on most types of credit and this also includes mortgages. And, apart from managing your finances and paying back any outstanding loans on time, there are a few different things you can do to improve your bad credit score.

Consider a Prepaid Card

Unlike a credit card, you don’t need to be credit checked to get a prepaid card. These cards are very simple to use and work in a very similar way to pay-as-you-go SIM cards.

Use Your Savings to Cut Down Existing Debt

One very simple and effective way of cutting down any existing debt is by using your savings if you have some. Although you may have a sense of comfort knowing that you have savings in the bank, it’s worth thinking about the benefits of parting with them. You will pay much less interest back plus you will have more credit available to you once the existing debt has been paid off.

If you have a savings pot in place for emergencies then don’t worry about using them to pay back debt. Because, if a situation does arise where you need access to additional finance then you will be able to use credit instead.

Check Your Credit Report for Any Mistakes

Mistakes can be made by banks and lenders which means that the wrong information could be passed onto credit reference agencies. This is why it is important to check your credit report every now and then to ensure that all of your financial information is accurate.

Register to Vote

The electoral register is one of the things that credit reference agencies check to confirm your identity. This is so they can double check for any fraudulent credit applications. Just registering reassures a lender that you are a real person.