Superhost Secrets – 5 Tips From Airbnb Superhosts To Help You Make Your Listing Shine

Managing your own Airbnb listing can be extremely rewarding. If you’re just starting out and  haven’t had much experience with hosting or renting out your property or room, it can feel overwhelming. To help you get started on the right foot, here are some of the top tips from super hosts on how to make your listing stand out. 

1. Allow Flexible Options For Check-In

Everybody desires a quick and effortless check-in at their time of arrival. However, tired guests can arrive at any hour of the day, making key handover awkward when your schedules don’t align. Worse yet, a long and tedious wait for check-in starts your guests’ experience off on the wrong foot and can lead to negative reviews later! Skip the hassle by upgrading to an Airbnb integrated Bluetooth door lock for your property’s door. These nifty items all you to access the technology from your phone, wherever you are. Create unique PIN codes for every guest’s stay, which can be automatically sent to their phone. In case of emergency, you can lock and unlock doors remotely via your phone, and even access a log of every entry and exit. The same technology can also be used to give access to cleaners and any other contractors that need to enter the property, all without ever needing to leave your home! 

2. Use High-Quality Photos 

You could have the coziest, most modern apartment in an excellent location but if your photos are taken in dim lighting, while rooms are cluttered or taken from unflattering angles, it can significantly affect your listing’s popularity. Keep your Airbnb photos clear and showing all the important features of your property. If you have a stunning balcony view, beautiful paint job, luxurious bathroom or spa, include this in your photos. Phone photography is not a total no-go, just make sure all images are in focus and high definition as possible!

3. Leave No Gaps In Your Profile

When it comes to Airbnb or any other web-based service, transparency is everything. You want potential guests to feel like they are staying somewhere safe and secure with a host they can trust. This means that, in addition to filling out your entire property description with good photos, you need to have a complete personal profile on yourself as a host. No need to get too personal though; simplicity is key. Just be sure to include your name, languages spoken and, if it sounds natural to you, something about your travel history.   

It critical that you never leave your profile photo space blank. Your guests should know that you’re a real person and be able to put the proverbial face to your name. This helps to establish a more personal connection and put them more at ease. Your profile photo should be a simple, smiling face shot.  

4. Don’t Be Afraid To Request Reviews 

A major mistake many people make in their early days of hosting is not following up with their guests after their stay. This is perhaps the most underrated measure you can take to increase your number of reviews and boost your image as an attentive host. Aim to message every single guest at least a day after their check out. This can be a simple ‘thank you for choosing us’ email with a reminder for a review. Sometimes, this little nudge is all it takes for a beautiful review and high rating! 


By following all of the above steps, you’ll not only increase your bookings, but will likely superhost status in no time! 

The Pros & Cons of Rental Property Ownership

If you are looking for an investment opportunity to add to your portfolio, acquiring a rental property is a very attractive prospect, and for many Australian investors, letting out their second property offers a good return. Of course, as with any investment, there are risks involved with rental properties, and with that in mind, here are a few pros and cons to help you make the right decision.

The Pros of Property Rental Ownership

If you buy the right property in the right location, you can expect to enjoy top rental, and with the tenant paying your mortgage for you, plus a little profit into the bargain, investing in a rental property has great potential. As a landlord, there are many responsibilities, which include building maintenance and repairs, and most owners will outsource the property management to a company such as Rise Property Management, who take care of everything on your behalf. In fact, your choice of property management provider could be the difference between a profit and a loss, so it pays to really do your homework before making a decision.

Building Maintenance

Every building requires regular maintenance, especially one that is rented out to a tenant, and by enlisting the help of a good property management company, they handle everything on your behalf, including sourcing tenants, collecting the rent and also maintaining the property. Unless you happen to be an experienced builder with a lot of time on your hands, you are advised to outsource the building maintenance to a company that does this for a living.

The Cons of Rental Property Ownership

There are risks involved when buying any rental property, which could include unforseen serious building repairs, letting your property to an unsuitable tenant, or not being able to find a tenant. As you would expect, the location of the property is critical, and it needs to be in very good condition before you can put it on the market for rent, and even then, it is possible that you won’t receive the rent you had hoped for. Making a profit is what rental property ownership is all about, and if you aren’t careful the considerable expenses might result in zero profit, or even worse, losing money on the project. The main reason why a property owner fails to make a profit is a lack of knowledge as to exactly what is required by a property landlord, and if you try to maintain the property yourself, you could end up paying a lot more than you need.

Prior to making any commitment, it is vital that you crunch the numbers and are fully aware of your liabilities as a landlord, and with the help of an established property management company, you can leave everything in their very capable hands. Calculate how much it would cost to purchase a desirable property, while also factoring in the cost of making the property habitable, plus you need to seek out advice regarding capital gains and other financial aspects of owning a property for rent.

First World Problems: 7 Things to Do with Excess Funds

On the surface level, having excess funds does not look like a problem. Businesses are meant to make money, and having so much of it only means that you are doing the right thing. Still, having excess funds sitting on your business books could be problematic. Being a valued resource; having capital means doing something productive with it. The same goes for individuals and employees in organizations.  If you have excess funds, it is imperative to put the money into good use. Here are seven things you can do with your excess funds:

  1. Pay Down Debt

The first option that comes to mind when you have excess funds in your account is to pay down your debts. That is the case because a short-term investment of the surplus cash will less likely yield returns that are equal or greater than the interest rate you are paying on your debts. It makes no sense, for instance, to invest your excess funds at 5 percent when you are in a position to pay down debt from your bank that is charging an interest rate of 12 percent. While that is the case, you also need to note that the decision to pay down your debt may not always be the right call.

One of the benefits of managing your cash flow is your ability to predict the number of funds your business may need in the future. That is, you should be in a position to ascertain if you will need to depend on external financing as the source of funds for your business. The need for external financing may resulting from your efforts to want to expand your business, purchase new equipment or property, or get you through that period when the business is down.

Irrespective of what the reason may be, preparing the cash flow budget is usually the best way to go about predicting the business’s future needs for cash. When such needs have been determined, you can now make decisions that will allow you to finance the needs in the best manner possible.

For instance, you may find that the rate of interest is relatively low at the moment, but you anticipate they are going to rise soon. Instead of utilizing the excess funds to pay down your two-year loan at 10 percent, it could be advantageous to invest the excess funds temporarily and avoid future higher interest rates.

  1. Individual or Commercial Growth

If you are an entrepreneur recording a healthy net profit, you could easily be tempted to reinvest at least some of the funds into your venture. The ultimate goal is to drive greater profitability in the future, irrespective of whether the money is used in reducing operational costs, underpinning strategic growth, or repaying debt in your business.

The important thing is to keep in mind the future as well as the real-time needs of your company, so you can ascertain if reinvestment is the right way to go. More significantly, you shouldn’t inject additional capital into the business just for the sake of it, especially if there are other pressing matters outside the venture. If your venture already has an established model with minimal debt, reinvesting may not be the best option. In such a case, it would be prudent to seek out alternative uses for excess funds.

One option you may want to consider is to invest in your financial growth. In this case, you can utilize the excess funds to establish a fiscal nest-egg for the unforeseeable future. This would be an important move as you will be in a position to create personal wealth during times of economic hardships while negating the effects of potential rising inflation and pension shortfalls.

In addition to that, this kind of strategy will help in creating an independent source of wealth which is completely separate from the business you are running. Therefore, this can be used during instances when your business encounters some financial hurdles or reinvested into the business in the future.

  1. Increase Your Retirement Contribution

Having some excess funds every month could be an indication that you are now in a position to divert more funds to your retirement account. An employee should have sufficient funds in their 401 (k) plans if they are to obtain any matching contribution from their employers. Nonetheless, investment experts sometimes advise saving more, up to fifteen percent of the pay, if one is in a position to do so. Workers who have not yet attained their target contribution rate may decide that their savings be automatically increased by a smaller percentage point (one to two percent).

Nevertheless, when putting your excess funds into your retirement account, you need to be certain that there is enough left to cater to expenses that may arise sooner. When it comes to making such important decisions, you always need to hold onto a safety net, so things don’t turn against you. If not, you may be easily tempted to start digging into your retirement accounts earlier than expected so you can cover your major expenses.

Looking for investment experts is always a good decision if you want to be confident that you’re making the right choices regarding your retirement contribution. When you have the right professionals by your side, you can rest assured that your money is in good hands in whatever investment choices you make.

  1. Open an IRA

Opening an Individual Retirement Account is the right move if your 401 (k) is already maxed out. With this option, you can make your contributions of up to $5,500 per annum, or $6,500 a year if you are at least 50 years of age. You need to note that the IRA deductions are usually limited for individuals and couples with access to a retirement account at their places of work. The Roth IRAs, with after-tax deductions, provide more flexibility for those who are uncertain of what to do with the money. Contributions are usually withdrawn any time. What’s more, investment earnings can be withdrawn without 10 percent tax deductions after at least five years of account opening and if the money withdrawn is used for the first-time home purchase, payment of certain medical expenses, or for qualified education expenses.

  1. Adjust Budget Allocations

Saving and settling your debts are fiscally responsible decisions, but these are not entirely fun. When you happen to have some excess funds, it is always nice to treat yourself as well. Whether you are earning more money regularly in the form of higher salaries or it’s just a one-time surplus, you’ll need to look at your budget to determine where the excess funds can go.

At the moment, are you exceeding your expenditure limits in certain areas of budget categories? In what areas do you feel deprived? Answering these questions could go a long way in helping to decide what to do with the surplus funds.

Maybe the budget for your meals has always been inadequate, and you would like to purchase that expensive wine and fancy cheese or perhaps you may want to add to your clothing or entertainment budgets. And while it is not a problem to indulge within reason, make sure you tame lifestyle inflation. At all times, living below your means will present a much better financial outcome.

  1. Search For Bargains

Most enterprises will have fluctuating expenses. For instance, a clothing retailer may be subject to fluctuation cotton prices or an electronic business may face changing costs for different gadgets. Such fluctuations, in most cases, can be extremely frustrating, especially when you have no option but to purchase the items to maintain your inventory.

With excess funds, you have the option of purchasing more than you require when the prices get historical low. When you do that, you’ll eliminate the need to purchase the items at higher prices in the future. As long as there is ample storage space, you can easily expand your margins significantly using this practice.

Of course, there is always a risk to it. Prices can sometimes be unpredictable, and you may increase your stock only for the prices to continue dropping. Therefore, when searching for deals, you need to be very picky about what it is you are buying.

  1. Invest in Growth

You can also explore other options for investing your excess funds. You could earn reliable interest on your money, or higher returns if you placed it in stocks and bonds. Holding onto your cash carries with it an opportunity cost since you will be sacrificing the potential cash flows from investing the money. You can also leverage other options such as acquiring another business. This could be your competitor’s business or a company in a related industry to maximize and diversify your earnings.

In addition to acquisitions, there are also other options you may want to consider. Acquiring new equipment, for instance, can decrease expenses in the long run and increase the efficiency of your business operations.

Bottom Line

It is easy for an individual or an entrepreneur to feel like spending their excess funds right away. This is a dangerous mindset as it could result in careless spending or value-destroying acquisitions. If you feel like the timing is not right, then better hold onto the funds. Better yet, you can contact the investment experts so you can be advised on what steps you can take.

Should You Ever Refuse to Cooperate in a Criminal Tax Investigation?

No one wants to end up on the IRSs naughty list. But if you should find yourself under the microscopic lens of the IRS, you definitely want to have tax attorneys offering complete solutions to your tax problems on your side. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the tax system and help you decide if you can or should refuse to cooperate in a criminal tax investigation.

What is a Criminal Tax Investigation?

A criminal tax investigation is conducted by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) to look into potential criminal violations of the Internal Revenue Code and other financial crimes. When a person or a business purposely decides that they are not going to abide by the taxation laws, there is the risk of facing a civil audit or criminal investigation. Both an audit and criminal investigation can end with prosecution, fines or jail time.

Why Are You Being Investigated by the IRS?

The American taxing system relies on voluntary compliance. This means that citizens bear the burden of self-assessments regarding their amount of owed taxes. All income, legally or illegally obtained, is taxable. Persons and businesses that are attempting to circumvent the tax laws and codes raise questions as to further unlawful activity. Some of the more common reasons you may get investigated include:

Can You Refuse to Cooperate in a Criminal Tax Investigation?

You can refuse to cooperate with an IRS investigation. When you or your business is under investigation, you will have multiple chances to choose to cooperate or not with the IRS special agent. The decision to cooperate or not should be taken lightly. Each can have serious consequences. Quite often the decision to cooperate can be synonymous with making a confession.

There are also levels of cooperation. You can fully cooperate, giving the special agent assigned to your case anything and everything they request of you. This is often done when there is not enough evidence against you or if there truly is no wrongdoing or misconduct. There is also selective cooperation, where you agree to cooperate to a certain degree; or only in certain aspects of the criminal investigation. If your attorney deems your case is not defensible, you may fully or selectively cooperate with the hope that you will receive a more lenient punishment or penalty in return.

Then there is the absolute refusal to cooperate. There are circumstances where it is best not to cooperate. This may be your choice is there is little to no advantage to your cooperation. It is important to be realistic and objective when deciding whether or not to cooperate. And the decision should almost always be decided after consulting with an experienced attorney.

Your cooperation with a special agent is not likely to make the investigation go away or keep you out of trouble, but it may change the way the investigation is conducted or the harshness of any assessed penalties or sentences. Choose wisely and carefully.

Improve Multifamily Property ROI with These Tips

Real estate investments are a good source of passive income. You can increase the return on investment with a few strategies specific for multifamily rental properties. These few tips can generate more passive income by putting your time and resources in the right places.

Manage Expectations

Property managers like Steven Taylor landlord have learned to manage the expectations of their tenants. Knowing the expectations of your target audience can help you address their concerns before they crop up. If you plan to rent to Baby Boomers, you need to make sure you have things they appreciate at your facility such as smart appliances and high-tech security. Millennials may want more focus on online payments and in-house laundry.

Personal Touch

Running a multifamily residence requires a personal touch. Focus on the services you offer to the residents to maintain their satisfaction with their living situation. Keeping the current residents happy with their current location means they tend to stay longer. When you don’t have high tenant turnover, you spend less time marketing and managing move-ins and move-outs. Satisfied tenants who feel appreciated are more likely to spread the word of their residence to others. Word of mouth advertising is the fastest and most effective marketing you can do.

Technology Use

There are many new technological applications that can help you interact with the residents. From online payment systems to forums specifically for residents, technology lets the residents interact with their community and with the management team. The online portal can have a list of frequently asked questions and a place to put in service orders. Services like this can appeal to young renters who are used to doing things from their electronic devices. Focus the technology on serving current and potential renters. A little personal touch combined with amenities and technology can help tenants feel appreciated and increase the return on the investments you’ve made in them and the building.

For the Sake of Convenience: What are the 5 Most Popular Types of Loans?

There are many varied reasons and circumstances where you might need to borrow some money and take out a loan and there is a range of different lending products available that are designed to meet your needs.

Knowing which loan to apply for and what type is the most suitable and appropriate is not always straightforward but it pays to get it right and it is important to understand what type of loan you are applying for.

Here is a look at the most popular types of loans and an overview of their key features and purpose, including details about secured lending, and all about signature loans, where no credit check is required.

Buying a home

Let’s start with the biggest loan you are ever likely to apply for in your lifetime, a mortgage.

A mortgage is a loan that is designed to help you buy your own home and it is designed to allow you to purchase a property where the purchase price is much higher than the amount of cash you have available.

It is a long-term loan that allows you to spread the cost of buying the property over a period of time. A typical mortgage will be from 15 to 30 years in duration and the amount you owe will decrease as you continue with your payments, which is a process known as amortization.

By the time you get to the end of your mortgage period, you will have repaid the loan and interest charges in full and you will have an asset in the form of a property that is, hopefully, worth more than you paid for it in the beginning.

You will be required to contribute a downpayment against the total you are paying for the property, typically about 20% of the purchase price, which provides equity in the property.

The loan is secured against the property and if you default on your payments you could lose your deposit and your home will be subject to foreclosure.

To get a mortgage, you will normally have to demonstrate that you have a regular source of income and a good credit record.

Personal loan

Your credit history is often highly relevant to the consumer loan products that you are eligible for and it is always a good idea to check what your credit score is before you apply for a loan, especially if you have a record of missed payments and defaults.

The higher your credit score, the more chance you have of being granted a loan and paying a lower interest rate against the amount you are borrowing.

However, it should be noted that personal loan products are extremely varied and you can even find loans that offer you the money more quickly than traditional banks without the need for a credit check, although the interest rate charged will reflect the risk to the lender of offering finance without a credit check.

You can apply for a personal loan to fulfil a wide variety of purposes, such as wanting to borrow money to carry out some home improvements, take a special vacation, or to consolidate your borrowings.

Personal loans can be unsecured, which means you don’t have to offer any asset as collateral as you do with a mortgage, or there are loan products that are secured against an asset. An auto loan, for example, uses the vehicle as collateral and it can be taken back from you if you don’t make the payments.

Buying a car

The main point about a personal loan is that you should work out your finances and decide that you can afford the repayments, then choose a product that suits your needs and circumstances.

An auto loan is a popular way to finance your motoring needs.

The typical term for an auto loan is between 24 to 60 months and it often depends on the age and value of the vehicle when it comes to how long you get to repay the money borrowed against the value of the car.

Cars depreciate in value and if it is being used as collateral there is a risk to the lender that it will be worth less than they are owed, hence the reason to restrict how long the loan period is.

A new car that is of a higher value can often be paid over 48 to 72 months, whereas an older car will normally require a shorter repayment period.

You should be mindful that if you default on an auto loan the lender can still pursue you for any money still owing on the loan even after they have seized the vehicle. This is another good reason for being sensible about how much you borrow and how long you take the loan out for, bearing in mind that cars drop in value as they get older.

Student loan

A number of us will have to consider the option of taking out a student loan to pay for the education we need in order to get the qualifications required to start a career.

Most students tend to take out federal student loans with a fixed interest rate and terms that means you don’t have to repay the debt until after you have graduated.

There are caps on federal loans and this could result in a shortfall in the amount required to complete your education. In these circumstances, you can apply for a personal loan, but you should note that the interest rate will be variable and, therefore, it could go up or down, which is something you need to be prepared for.

Credit cards

Finally, it is relevant to consider credit cards as a type of loan as you are being offered a line of credit which you can spend when and how you like, within reason.

The fundamental difference with credit card borrowing is that there is no fixed term for repayment and this could result in you accumulating a debt balance that takes longer to repay than a conventional loan repaid over a specific period.

If you need money for a specific purpose it pays to check out whether a personal loan could be a better option as interest rates on credit cards can be high.

Consumer loans are often flexible and convenient, and if you use them in the right way it can allow you to get on with your plans.

How to Financially Survive After an Accident

Becoming the victim of an accident begins a period of uncertainty for your health and financial stability. Your injuries can prevent you from returning to work for a short or extended period of time. Juggling the need to pay for shelter, food, and other incidental bills can be difficult as you figure out how to get compensation after an accident. Filing a lawsuit against the person who caused your injuries is one way to recover lost wages, but it takes time to reach a resolution either through a settlement or lawsuit. Meanwhile, the bills start to roll in, and they need to be paid. Here’s a look at potential options to pay bills.

Find Alternate Ways of Working

In the event you work in a field that has the option for remote work, look into it as soon as you’re able to. If you work in a field that requires physical effort, you may be able to work in an office position until you heal. Discuss your situation with human resources or the relevant person to learn about your options while you recover from your injuries. Employers are sometimes willing to accommodate their employees while they recover from their injuries.

In the event you can’t work remotely or in an office while you heal, there are work-at-home jobs and employers who offer remote positions that don’t require you to come into an office. It may not be an ideal solution, but it’s a way to make money until you’re capable of returning to your accustomed line of work.

Budget Money Closely

If you don’t budget, now is the time to do so. You don’t know when your money flow is going to return and you need to plan accordingly. Take a good look at your finances and figure out which bills are the most important. Focus the money you have available to keep up with those payments. Life may be uncomfortable during this time, and there won’t be money for extras, but it’s a temporary situation. Eventually, you will heal and be able to return to making an income again.

Check Your Health Insurance Policy for Coverage

Sometimes a health insurance policy will have coverage for injuries sustained in a car accident. You may be able to invoke the policy to help cover medical costs and reduce what’s owed. Health insurance won’t provide you with funds for living expenses, but it can reduce the pressure from demands for payment from medical providers. Be careful about going this route as the insurance company can invoke state statutes for reimbursement after a settlement has been reached.

Find out if You Pay Into an Accident Insurance Policy at Work

Sometimes employers offer accident insurance coverage for employees. If your employer offers it, you may have signed up when you first started your job, then subsequently forgot you were paying towards a policy. Accident insurance coverage gives you money to cover your bills if you get injured in an auto accident and typically provides enough to cover your costs of living while you heal.

Get a Letter of Protection

In order to get a letter of protection, you have to be actively engaged in a lawsuit against the party responsible for your injuries. A letter of protection is created by your lawyer and submitted to all relevant medical providers. The letter states that the balances owed for services will be paid from the final settlement amount. If the provider accepts the letter of protection, they will defer demands for payment until the lawsuit has finished and money is disbursed. It’s important to note that medical providers typically only accept a letter of protection issued by an attorney.

Apply for a Personal Loan

Personal loans are an option to help you pay bills, although it may not be ideal as it adds another bill to the already mounting pile of debts. However, it does take care of pressing needs and can help you get through the period between initiating a lawsuit and getting a settlement or judgment. Consider getting a loan as a means to an end and only use what you need instead of taking all the funds at once. Once your lawsuit is final, you can pay back the amount you have remaining and use the proceeds from the lawsuit to pay back what you used.

These types of loans are usually unsecured which means they have a higher rate of interest. The benefit of going this route is getting money to use sooner than later and being able to bridge the income gap until you heal or resume employment.

File for Bankruptcy

It’s best to keep in mind that filing for bankruptcy should be the last thing you consider as a way of handling your financial problems. Bankruptcy does eliminate most of your debts, but it can preclude you from suing for pain and suffering after an accident. A potential lawsuit over car accident injuries is considered a financial asset by the court even though the lawsuit has not commenced. It can affect the filing of the bankruptcy and prevent you from filing a lawsuit if you omit the suit from the bankruptcy petition. Save the idea of filing for bankruptcy for after all proceedings have completed.

There’s no denying that making ends meet after an accident is tough and has its challenges. Explore all of your options, talk to your employer about opportunities that are available to you while you’re injured, and look into alternative options for income. Remember that injuries heal and you will be able to return to work at some point which makes the situation a temporary one. What you might not consider when healthy can be a viable option for survival while you’re injured.

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.