Get On Top of Your Mortgage by Following These Steps When you first get into your home, you may have every expectation of staying on top of your mortgage. Everything seems smooth More »
Almost every facet of modern life involves debt in some way. Whether you want to buy a house, a new car or your weekly groceries, it is always possible to pay with More »
Everyone has a dream home in their mind. If you are a first home buyer and planning to buy your dream home, there are many basic points you should consider. During your More »
You can also reduce your auto insurance premium by taking out other types of insurance through the same company. Bundling it with your homeowner’s coverage, for instance, may drop the price of your auto premiums. Make sure you are getting a good deal and decent coverage; in some cases two separate insurance policies is still a better choice.
Armed with a list of available discounts, mark off the ones you qualify for and total up how much you stand to save. Discounts show how much you could save, which could be surprising.
There are wide variations among insurance carriers. If you do not like the quote you got from one insurer, shop around. All insurance companies vary in their pricing.
If you have multiple drivers insured on your policy, make sure that you report to your insurance company if someone stops using your vehicle. If other drives are on your plan, removing them may save you extra cash on your monthly and yearly premiums.
If you drive less than 7,500 miles annually, you may be eligible for an insurance discount. Reducing the amount you drive is ideal for saving on car insurance.
If you are in an accident and need to file a claim, be sure to get plenty of documentation. While on the scene of the accident, make sure you snap a few photos of the damage with your cell phone. It pays to always have a camera on hand in your vehicle.
Consider what a new car will cost to insure before you make the purchase. Keep in mind that cars with better safety features get lower premiums. Sporty cars are often considered risky to insure. Before purchasing your car, add this insurance rate to your monthly budget to ensure that it is feasible.
100/200/100 level liability coverage is a good idea if you have an expensive car. It is important to have sufficient liability coverage on your car since most states require specific minimum levels.
Consider paying your entire premium up front. Many companies charge a service fee when you want to make monthly payments. Save money by paying your entire policy upfront.
Raising your collision and comprehension deductibles is one option you can consider to help lower your insurance costs. The amount you pay as a deductible is the most significant factor determining how much you will pay for insurance. Remember to put this amount aside for an accident. Creating a separate fund for unexpected emergencies is always advisable.
Installing security systems in your car, such as alarms and trackers could help you lower your insurance premiums. The chance of theft can greatly increase your insurance policy. The more you reduce the risk of your car being stolen, the more your rate will be lowered.
Maintain records with proof of all payments made to your insurance company. On the chance that you get pulled over and need to show proof of coverage, you’ll have a record of your premium payment.
When you purchase an auto insurance policy, sound research will always benefit you. It will help you to understand your insurance needs, and the policies which might best meet those needs. When you have adequate information, you can most likely locate the policy that is right for you. Use the advice contained in the article to get the auto insurance that fits your needs.
An economic recession can be described as a period in which the gross domestic product of a nation has not increased in two consecutive quarters but has instead decreased during those two quarters. An economic recession leads to the loss of jobs, loss of business opportunities and a depression or slump in consumer spending habits. It is important at this juncture to note that consumer spending is what drives most economies throughout the world. When people and households have disposable income, they will tend to buy things or pay for the chance to experience new sensations with friends and loved ones. This is what will provide businesses with capital, therefore driving the economy. Therefore, a slump in consumer spending is the last thing that any sane person would want.
Ever since the great economic recession of 2008, small and large businesses alike have had to deal with growth and survival in an environment that does not particularly favor entrepreneurial activity or business survivability. It is not easy to operate in an environment that does not have customers who are willing to pay for your goods and services. It is also disadvantageous to grow a business in an environment where getting approved for business loans from financial institutions is harder than passing a controversial bill through the legislature.
However, there are many businesses that have been able to cope with the great economic recession and are actually growing faster and better than ever before. Here is how they are coping:
1) Seeking new market opportunities
Instead of locking everything down and focusing on the consumers that the business has, most business owners and managers are looking to expand their consumer base, even during the economic recession. This is due to the fact that having a healthy cash flow is one of the mandatory things that have to happen in order to survive the onslaught brought about by the economic recession. Many businesses have also started to focus on the public sector, with public private partnerships mushrooming in states all over the country, as this is a lucrative market that has unlimited earning potential.
2) Using new technologies to cut costs
With the economic recession still looming in our minds, most businesses have endeavored to invest in technology, so as to hedge against the risk of another economic recession. Computers, machine and the internet have been used effectively to reduce dependence on human beings and other avenues of getting work done that are expensive and time wasting. Computers and machines do not complain and can live without pay indefinitely. The same cannot be said for unruly workers looking for more money to meet their living expenses. While this has led to the laying off of thousands of workers, the introduction of machines and other innovative technologies will drastically reduce the costs associated with manufacturing the product, therefore meaning that the end consumer will also get to enjoy the stiff reduction in prices of goods and services. This will end up spurring economic recovery and business activity.
3) Making the most use of the financial leverage available
Businesses have also managed to remain afloat by tapping into incentives offered by countries and financial institutions. Some countries have provided numerous incentives for taking business loans, while banks have lowered some of the harsher interest rates that deterred many businesses from expanding. By leveraging these financial benefits, many small to large business enterprises have been able to weather down the recession.
In order to drive a car, you must have adequate insurance protection. Finding the perfect auto insurance policy is not always easy. It is important to find insurance that suits your needs and is, at the same time, not overly expensive. Before you make a decision on which insurance policy you want to purchase, it is important that you know all about insurance and what type you need. This article provides excellent car insurance advice that can help you.
Do not pick the first insurance company you come across. Every company uses a complex algorithm to determine your rate, but they all take your driving record and answers to their questionnaire into account. You can select the least expensive insurer when you compare rates from various competitors, and you will lower your cost in the process.
When you are looking into getting car insurance, you need to know and understand the coverage types. Although you may get insurance coverage for a single vehicle, there are lots of factors that you need to consider in getting the final cost. One kind of coverage that is almost universally required is bodily injury liability. This coverage pays for legal fees, injuries, or deaths resulting from accidents that you cause.
Inquire with your insurance company before purchasing aftermarket parts for your vehicle. You will want to know what they would cover in the case of a total loss. Insurance often doesn’t cover these parts separately, but only the difference between the value of the car with and without those parts, which is often not a lot.
There is a myth that insurance premiums instantly go down when people turn 25. However, the truth is that rates slowly decrease from the time a driver turns 18 years old, as long as he or she maintains a clean driving record.
Lapses in coverage are a sure way to see an increase in premiums. You may experience breaks in your coverage when you switch carriers or policies. An insurance company will raise your rate if they notice these gaps.
It is better to pay your insurance in one lump sum each year rather than paying monthly installments. Your insurance agency adds monthly fees to your bill, usually around $5 every month. This money can add up quickly. This can be a burden in addition to your monthly expenses. You generally spend less on your insurance if you pay the bill in full when it is due.
There are many aspects to car insurance and one small part of comparing quotes is to look at the annual premium costs. The fine print should be carefully looked at, so that you understand which deductibles you must pay for if you have an accident. In addition, the coverage levels and benefit limits are provided in this fine print.
Avoid filing for bankruptcy. The record of the bankruptcy appears on your report and affects your credit rating for up to 10 years. Bankruptcy not only zeros out your debt, it also zeros out your credit score. If you do file for bankruptcy, it will be extremely difficult to get approved for a loan or a credit card for many years, if ever.
Pay the balances on all credit cards as soon as you can to start the credit repair process. Pay down credit cards that have the highest amount owed, or the highest interest rates. This will show future creditors that you take your debts seriously.
When you receive a credit card statement you should immediately look at the statement. You are looking to see that every charge is correct and determining whether or not you are being charged for an item you didn’t buy. You need to be sure that everything is correct on the statements.
Lowering the balances you carry on revolving accounts can improve your credit score. Maintaining smaller balances can improve your credit rating. When balances are 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100 percent of the total credit available, the FICO system takes note of it.
Debt collection agencies can be the most stressful part of a bad credit crisis. Consumers can legally issue letters to collection agencies to cease and desist if they are being harassed. These letters will discourage contact from collection agencies. This will stop the calls from collection agencies, but that doesn’t mean consumers can keep ignoring the debt.
You may get into the situation that you have multiple debts and you just don’t have enough money to pay them all. Make the minimum payment on each of your debts and use any leftover money to concentrate on paying off the highest interest debt. Even if the payments you are making are the minimum ones, these small payments will still somewhat please your creditors, which will likely stop them from getting in touch with collection agencies.
Create a plan to settle all of your unpaid and past-due accounts. While this will not remove the debts from your credit report completely, they will be showing as paid and no longer negatively affect your rating.
If you are having problems paying your monthly payments, contact your creditor and try to work out a payment plan. In many situations, a creditor is going to be willing to work with you. As an added benefit, this may alleviate some financial strain allowing you to focus on accounts where an alternate repayment plan is not available.
As this article demonstrates, you no longer have to be plagued by nightmares about your credit score. You do have the ability to fix your credit. By the time you finish applying these tips, your credit score will be on its way up.
The biggest boon to small retailers in the last 50 years has to be the invention of the Internet. Once upon a time every business was a local business. This isn’t to say that you don’t need those local dollars any more, but it does show that you can get more than just that. A good online presence means that you can be making sales around the clock and get help clearing out inventory that just didn’t sell in the store. Plus, it’s a good way to drum up word of mouth sales, go viral, and make it big. That’s always the dream. Now that you know what you want, here’s why you need to have your online and brick and mortar inventories synced to take advantage of this to its full potential.
Two Locations Mean More Sales
Obviously, having two ways for people to shop at your store means that you have roughly twice the chances to make sales. Now, if they don’t feel like coming down they can just shop from the comfort and safety of their own homes, and that’s great. You don’t even have to have open and closed hours; your website is available 24/7 for those who love to shop late at night or only have a few minutes on the weekend to look for gifts for that special someone. Having two locations (one brick and mortar and one online) is a way to sell the same stock in basically two locations, and that’s all going to be great unless you hit a snag.
You see, most places don’t list the same inventory online that they sell in the store. They’re afraid of double selling (selling the same single item twice) and they don’t want to run into this problem. This is holding back their earning potential because they’re offering only “either/or” inventory, which can lead to inventory running out one place where there is high demand while the stock in the other pile languishes without buyers.
Take This Show on the Road
When you own a small boutique you can’t turn up any chance at making money. This means that you need to go where the sales are. If you are a custom candle maker, for example, you should be trying to go to as many craft fairs as possible. Hand crafted wares are great gifts and are making a comeback in modern culture as being elevated above machine made products. Sending out a team with some candles and a mobile point of sale system is just the thing to keep this going strong. You can reel in the cash by the bucketful and still keep track of all your inventory for your store and your online shop.
Keep Your Inventory Straight
One thing that mobile point of sale systems really help with is keeping your stock synced. Get yourself a personal barcode printer and scanner like the ones offered by Shopify and you’ll never double sell anything again, even if you’re hitting the craft fairs. Scan the code anywhere, whether in person or on the road, and your stock will automatically update your inventory and keep your website up to date. This way you won’t sell the same ten candles in person that you did online half an hour ago, and just didn’t know it. These up to the minute adjustments will help you know when to pull stock so that you’re not accidentally double selling. Plus, sticking a barcode on things is often enough to prevent shoplifting and even in-house theft, according to Barcode Discount, which accounts for a lot of the inventory shrinkage that even small businesses have to contend with.
Having an Integrated Point of Sale System Means You’ll Stand out as Reliable
Double selling can really do a number on your business, but so can not being ready to accept anything your customers throw at you. It’s getting easier and easier to go cashless, according to Slate, with cash purchases nationwide expected to fall by as much as 15 percent by 2015. That’s right, plastic is the wave of the future, with tapping and swiping to pay for things becoming more and more popular as time goes by. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone is hopping on board the credit train. You need to be able to accept a variety of plastic devices to pay for things, because the average Millennial doesn’t have a credit card at all. That’s right, 63 percent of Millennials avoid the credit card debt of their parents’ generation by just not getting a credit card at all, according to Bank Rate. While this might make it harder for them to get a good loan later in life as they’re not building credit in their early years, it means small business owners are going to have to get creative when it comes to accepting payments. You need to be able to handle it all. Syncing your online and physical inventory means that you’re ready for anything, and no curve ball thrown your way is going to ruin things.
Get On Top of Your Mortgage by Following These Steps
When you first get into your home, you may have every expectation of staying on top of your mortgage. Everything seems smooth sailing, but then perhaps you hit a bump. Maybe you lose a job, or maybe you realise that some of the repair bills on the property were a little higher than you thought they were. What can you do to stay on top of your mortgage when you feel as if you might be sinking?
It seems simple, but the truth is that most people simply look at their bills on a one by one basis. They do not see the bills as a cohesive whole that needs to be paid out of a common budget. If you find that you have less money than you thought you would at the end of the month, it is worth your while to sit down and budget everything. Throw out the original budget and start from scratch. Where is the money coming from, and where is it going?
Notify Your Lender
As you pay your mortgage, you are entering into a long relationship with your lender. Ideally, most of it will go by without a single ripple of strife, but you will discover that this is not always the case. If there is a change in your circumstances or if something affects your ability to pay, always be willing to contact your lender to let them know what is going on. You may have your payments reduced, or you may be able to put off payment for a short time. As soon as you suspect that there is a problem, let them know.
Contact an Independent Financial Adviser
The terms of your mortgage were agreed upon by you and the lender, but over time, you might suspect that there is a better deal for you out there. This may be the case, but if you are not certain, it is a good idea for you to consider speaking to an independent financial adviser. This is an expert who can make a huge difference to your mortgage payments. He or she will be able to tell you how your mortgage compares to other deals out there, and they can give you advice on how to proceed.
Consider a Second Loan
As you move forward with paying for your mortgage, things may reach a point where you want to take out a second loan. A second loan can get you through a bad spot, but it is also worth remembering that it can become another onerous payment for you to think about. Before you go for a second loan, take a moment to consider how you will pay for it and what kind of surety you are offering. To be sure, make use of a loan repayment calculator to ensure that the amount is something you can manage.
A mortgage can be handled responsibly, but it requires time and effort. Be careful with yours!
Is your credit terrible? These tips can help you properly repair your credit so that you can have a top notch credit score.
Having poor credit makes financing a home a nightmare. If your income is a factor you may qualify for a FHA loan, which has lower standards and makes the federal government your lender in a sense. FHA loans offer lower down payments and help with closing costs.
Think about getting an installment account to save money and improve your credit score. There is a minimum amount each month that you will have to pay, so be sure not to get in over your head. You will improve your credit score by properly managing an installment account.
If your creditors try to jack up your interest rates, do not pay them. Creditors are skirting aspects of the law when they hit you with high interest rates. On the other hand, you’re likely bound by a contractual agreement to pay any interest charged by lenders. It is possible that you can sue a creditor and claim that the interest rate charged is unreasonably high.
You must pay your bills consistently if you want to repair your credit. Your bills must be paid completely and on time. Once you have started to pay towards your past-due accounts, you credit score will gradually improve. Some people like to use professional accountants to help manage their finances too, especially those who own a business and need to balance the books.
A good tip is to work with the credit card company when you are in the process of repairing your credit. When you work with company you are not working against anyone, including yourself. This will help prevent furthering yourself into debt. You can accomplish this by simply calling and asking them to change payment terms, like your interest rate or your billing date.
Before you agree on an agreement for settling your debt settlement, you should determine what affect this will have on your credit score. Some methods will be less damaging than others, and you need to research them all before signing an agreements with a creditor. Creditors just want their money and really aren’t interested on how it will affect your score.
When you are attempting to improve your credit score, carefully comb over your credit reports for negative information. If you notice a mistake on your report, you could get some items crossed off. Even if the item itself is right, an error in the date or amount gives you the right to contest it.
Find and challenge errors on your credit report using the dispute process offered by each credit reporting agency. Send an official letter to companies that have wrongfully lowered your score, and include documentation that shows the mistake. Use a return receipt when you mail your package so that you can prove that the agency received it.
If you are living beyond your financial ability, stop now. This might be a tough thing to get your head around. A lot of people rely on credit to maintain an unrealistic lifestyle, but when the credit runs out, all that’s left is a very big bill. Examine your budget, and figure out how much extra money you have to shop with.
Make sure to review your credit card statement monthly to make sure there are no errors. You don’t want them reporting these to the credit reporting companies, so you’ll need to contact them immediately if there are.
Recent changes in UK workers rights have seen a whole host of benefits being brought to the the workplace. These changes have been put in place due to a large number of stress related illnesses and a prolonged imbalance of time spent at work, as opposed to time spent enjoying life and taking a break from the office whenever possible. As it stands, traditionally we have worked a 9 to 5, Monday – Friday existence over the last few decades. However, due to work pressures, a struggling economy, people being fired and no replacement being hired to take their place, we have seen the 5pm finish gradually growing out to anything upto 9pm on a day to day basis. New changes have now been put in place which gives people the right to work from home, amongst other benefits which are all summed up perfectly in the infographic below by GoToMeeting. We should all be making the most of these changes, make sure you are too:
Using an Umbrella Company For an Easy Life
Contractors who have worked under a limited company for years will be surprised to hear that umbrella companies are fast becoming the popular choice for new contractors and freelancers. As many of you will know an umbrella company is a company that is set up to be an intermediary between a contractor / freelancer and the clients they work for. And the main purpose of that umbrella company will be to deal with all of the day to day administration that comes with contracting, (such as taxation, payroll and invoicing) in order to free up more time for the contractor to work their contracts (and therefore make more money.) In return for a small fee (depending on the umbrella company) the client will no longer have to worry about the hassles of PAYE and NIC’s, of invoicing and chasing clients and of dealing with accountants, HMRC or Companies House.
Tell Me Something I Don’t Know – Haven’t Umbrella Companies Been Around Forever?
Absolutely, and this is part of their appeal. They have always been popular with contractors but it is only in the last few years they have become really popular. That’s because HMRC has recently been introducing more and more legislation to close down popular taxation vehicles used by contractors and in all that legislation umbrella companies have remained untouchable. Legislation in 2007 explicitly noted that umbrella companies were considered to be in a different category than composite structures and single person companies and they remain the best solution for avoiding the perils of IR35. Whilst structures such as Managed Service Companies and Employee Benefit Trusts have fallen by the wayside and whilst limited company contractors find themselves more and more wary of any new regulations, umbrella companies keep on growing in popularity (there are now more than 200,000 people in the UK working through an umbrella company) and doing what they do.
So What Is It That They Do?
In a nutshell they offer the only rock-solid, compliant and trustworthy alternative to a limited company on the market, designed to offer contractors a much easier and more relaxed way of working without all the paperwork and admin that comes with running a limited company.
What About The Tax Advantages of Limited Companies?
For contractors who earn more than £300 a day there are some tax advantages to running their business through a limited company but these need to be weighed up with all the disadvantages and regulatory pitfalls that come with being a limited company contractor. For other contractors and for new contractors the tax advantages of a limited company structure are much less and they would almost certainly benefit more from the other advantages (as well as the guaranteed compliance) of an umbrella company. Hamilton Bradbury’s page has some good information about Umbrella Companies if you want to continue reading up on this subject.
Tell Me About The Advantages of Umbrella Companies Then…
Firstly, it is worth stating that umbrella companies do have some tax perks of their own. On top of the time and money they will save you in freeing you up from admin and paperwork they also allow you to claim money back in expenses whilst working under an employer / employee structure. For example, as you will most likely be contracting from a number of different locations these will all be classed as ‘temporary workplaces’ and this will mean you can claim for travel and subsistence costs involved with getting to and from those temporary workplaces as well as any costs incurred on site. These expenses can be offset against your gross salary.
Secondly, you will be working through PAYE and NIC’s and will therefore be a full employee of your umbrella company. This means that although you are still a contractor you will be given the full statutory rights of an employee, which include sick pay, sick leave, maternity leave and holidays.
Thirdly, any umbrella company worth its salt will also provide you for free with all of the insurances you are required (or strongly recommended) to get as a contractor. This should include complete cover for both professional and public liability. Standard levels offered by most umbrella companies are up to £5 million for Public Liability Insurance, up to £10 million for Employers Liability Insurance and up to £10 million for Professional Indemnity Insurance. Some will also cover you for insurances specific to your sector of contracting.
Then there is the issue of compliance mentioned above. This is fast becoming one of the biggest advantages of umbrella companies. As mentioned above, the fact that they have been around for years when other company structures have been legislated against by HMRC has meant many contractors have concluded they are the safest port in a storm. The IR35 legislation that looms over the working lives of every contractor is simply not an issue when it comes to working through an umbrella company. Whilst IR35 was introduced with the aim of catching contractors who had an ‘employment’ style relationship despite working outside of PAYE and NIC’s, umbrella company contractors work through PAYE and NIC and are therefore never going to fall foul of IR35. The same thing applies to Managed Service Legislation and Onshore Intermediaries Legislation. In other words, unlike limited company contractors, umbrella company contractors can be certain they will never find HMRC knocking unexpectedly at their doors.
Ok, That’s All Great, But Will An Umbrella Company Really Mean An End To Paperwork?
Absolutely. That’s the whole raison d’être of an umbrella company. Most contractors and freelancers go solo because they want to work for themselves doing what they love and because they want to flee the tedium and time-wasting of paperwork and admin that comes with an office environment. Many limited company contractors then find themselves spending half their time doing exactly that. Joining an umbrella company is the perfect solution for people who don’t want to do any paperwork whatsoever and want to spend all their time concentrating on their actual contract work. Once you sign up with them, umbrella companies will immediately start handling all of your PAYE and NIC payments and will deal with HMRC on your behalf. Not only that, but they will also handle all of your invoices to clients and then collect the money from those clients when it is time to pay up. This also means they will handle the legal side of things if they need to chase clients for money (one of the worst parts of contracting.) Indeed any paperwork or admin relating to the day-to-day running of your contracting career will be dealt with by your umbrella company. The only thing you will have to do is hand in a timesheet (with your hours and expenses) once a week, normally via an online portal. That’s it. That’s the total extent of your paperwork as a contractor!
Sounds great! Any disadvantages?
Only that for a small percentage of high-earning contractors the tax advantages, as mentioned above, might be slightly better with a limited company. But for everyone else the removal of all the administrative hassles and paperwork make umbrella companies the perfect way of working. This is especially true for new contractors who might want to see if they enjoy the contracting working style or for experienced workers who wish to contract temporarily. Umbrella companies are easy to join and easy to leave in a matter of hours whereas limited companies can take ages to get started and even longer to close down again. Once again that’s down to all the paperwork – limited companies require a ton of it whilst umbrella companies require none.
Many people are confused by the subject of insurance. Although everyone would like quality coverage, the cost is also considered. The following article will help you sort out your insurance and learn to confidently shop for many different types of insurance.
Renew or purchase a brand new policy of insurance and save on your overall cost of any insurance type. Each insurer has its own, different set of criteria for determining the premiums. That means that there is a wide variation in the cost of insurance policies between companies. Be smart, do your research; you should obtain a minimum of three quotes prior to deciding which policy to purchase.
If you own a business, make sure your insurance needs are completely covered. Generally speaking, most common risks are covered by the majority of policies; however, if you have some specific risk that you want to be certain is covered, you may want to purchase a specific policy or add a rider to your existing policy.
Subscribing to bundle policies is a good way to save money. You could possibly combine your auto and motorcycle insurance policies under one joint fixed rate. Many insurance providers offer home insurance packages as well. But, you should only buy insurance policies that you truly require.
In order to obtain the correct insurance, you must understand what is being offered by the company. The business of insurance is more than a little confusing; do not pause to ask a professional at the insurance company for further information. Worried about the integrity of an insurer? Run the policy by someone you trust who knows how coverage works.
Check over your insurance policies periodically. You may find mistakes: coverage you thought was removed but is still there, missing discounts you qualify for, extra coverage you thought you had dropped and so on. Each of these items could wind up taking money from your pocket, so it is worth the effort.
Picking the correct insurance policy is part of a smart financial strategy. For example, if you pick a policy that has a low deductible, the cost each month will be higher, but you are secure in the event of an accident. If you choose a high deductible and lower monthly payments, you will have to pay a great deal of money in the event that there is an accident.
There are a number of places to look to find the best deals for insurance. Shop on the Internet and do your homework first. When you’re knowledgeable about insurance companies, you’ll be able to choose a plan that’s right for you and your budget. The more insurance knowledge one has will make it easier to get the right insurance plan.
Make sure that you always examine pet insurance renewal forms as closely as you would your own insurance forms. Some companies treat a policy renewal the same as a new policy. That means that if your pet now has a chronic condition, such as diabetes, the company may consider it to be a pre-existing condition upon renewal. Stay away from these shady insurance companies who try to be sneaky with these tactics.
Now that you’ve read this article, you know insurance doesn’t have to be as complicated as it seems. Even if you have insurance, you could always find ways to make your coverage better.