Make Money Archives

canstockphoto8732083How important is it to save for your retirement? It is essential to save up for your retirement savings as early as  possble. After all, the days of employer funded pensions are long gone and the retirement age is often delayed since Social Security is running out of funds.

Some financial advisors strongly recommend that people save enough money to cover at least 75% of their pre-retirement income to fund their retirement savings.

Many people find it challenging to save money to pay their bills since the cost of food, housing and healthcare is constantly on the rise. No matter your age or how much money you’re currently making, there are easy ways you can boost your retirement savings.

Use these tips to increase your retirement savings and ensure that your financial future is secure:

1. Start saving money right now. If you haven’t already started contributing to your 401(k) or any other retirement plan, start now. If you’re unable to contribute 10% of your income, start small. You should try to save 1 or 2 percent of your gross income. Increase the amount that you contribute, especially if you get a raise or receive bonuses from your employer.

When your employer matches a percentage of your 401(k) contribution, you have a 100 percent instant return on your investment. Contribute at least the minimum to qualify for any match offered by your employer when you enroll in the company’s plan.

Open an IRA or Roth IRA if your employer doesn’t offer a 401(k) plan. IRAs can help you to lower your annual tax bill that can give you hundreds of dollars you can use to increase your nest egg. Don’t make the mistake of spending your savings!

2. Delay your retirement. Working longer and retiring at a later age will boost the amount of money that you will receive for your Social Security benefits. This will also shorten the length of time you’ll need to draw from your retirement savings.

As you’re approaching retirement age, look for ways to make additional income streams that are separate from your salary. You can use your skills to freelance your expertise or start a small business or a home-based business. Increasing your income will allow you to add more to retirement savings.

3. Get out of debt. Before you retire, make sure all of your debts are paid off. Most budgets are comprised of debt payments. Therefore, it will make it nearly impossible to add to your retirement savings. The best solution is to create workable budget that will eliminate outstanding debt over a certain time period.

Plan to get out of debt before you retire so that you’ll need to save less for your retirement. As you’re decreasing your debt, you should remain disciplined rather than falling into the trap of experiencing more financial woes or wasting money that can be saved for your retirement fund on unnecessary purchases.

4. Downsize your lifestyle. When you create your budget, take a good look at how much you are paying on your rent or mortgage. Determine if you should move into a smaller house with lower costs. If it have a negative affect on your budget, consider getting a smaller place with lower costs for the upkeep. In addition to downsizing your home, you can sell items that you won’t use any longer and add the proceeds from the sale to add to your retirement savings.

Finding ways to save up for your golden years can be a difficult and time consuming task if you don’t know what to do. However, if you implement these tips, it will make it easier to boost your savings to enjoy a comfortable retirement.

canstockphoto9157930According to the 2014 Financial Literacy Survey, conducted by the Harris Poll, 61% of Americans don’t use a budget. If you’re in this category, you will be glad to discover that creating a budget is a lot easier than you think. It’s also a good way to take more control over your finances.

Creating a budget has many benefits. You can make solid plans to achieve your financial goals and live the best life that you deserve by adopting a budget. A good budget is easy to follow, create sound financial habits and it will also leave a bit of room to have fun instead of feeling deprived of the things you enjoy.

 

Follow these simple steps to begin your journey of creating a budget that best works for you:

 

1. Identify your source of income. You’ll need to know the amount of your total income before you make a decision on how to save and spend your money. Get started by creating a list of all of your income and calculate the total amount. Also include how frequently you’re paid off.

The most common sources of income include the paycheck from your regular job and monthly alimony payments. If you’re making additional income such as a yard sale or a side hustle such as dog walking, make sure this information is also included.

 

2. List and categorize all of the expenses. When you’re creating your budget, make sure to carefully categorize all of your expenses. Consider what portion of your income you’re going to use for various types of expenses.

Many budgeting templates classify expenses in two categories: fixed and variable. Fixed expenses are those that regularly occur for a set amount. Insurance premiums, monthly rent/mortgage costs and car payments are examples of different types of fixed payments. Variable expenses take place at different times or for irregular amounts of money. It is really important for you to estimate the amount and timing of your variable expenses.

If you’re having difficulty setting aside a portion of your money for emergency savings or  achieving other financial goals, categorizing your expenses in terms of wants and needs can be very helpful.

A great way to save more of your money is to consider whether each expense is a true want or need. For instance, do you really need to have cable services, a cell phone or perhaps a pedicure? After you  make a decision on things that you can do without, reduce spending on the items that are only “wants.” This is a bit tougher than it sounds. For example, most of us know that food is a necessity in our everyday lives, but the type of food that we choose to purchase may reflect a want compared to an actual need.

 

3. Leave room in your budget to enjoy a lot of freedom. Staying on top of your budget will help you achieve a balance between your spending and saving habits. It also allows you to do things that you enjoy while taking better control of your finances.

 

4. Boost your income. Just as you are tracking your expenses and setting short and long-term financial goals, look for ways to make some extra money.

 

Getting a second job, using your skills to start a home-based business or selling items around the house that you’re no longer using are excellent ways to increase your income.

 

 5. Use budgeting tools. Writing out a budget can be a tedious or boring task. Using budgeting software programs can make it easier for you to automatically record and track all of your financial transactions.

 

6. Keep a close watch your budget. It’s common to experience changes in your finances over time. For this reason, it’s really important for you to review and adjust your budget on a regular basis.

Whenever you create a budget, keep in mind that the price of food, gas and household bills are constantly fluctuating and there may be changes in your financial goals such as buying a new home or car.
Creating a budget is very important to stay on top of your finances. Use these tips to build a realistic budget that will help you to reach your financial goals while enjoying your the things you love to do guilt free.

 

canstockphoto16950235Teen years are an important time for learning the value of money. Even though they are taught reading, math, science and history, it is unfortunate that the educational system don’t educate children when it comes to money management. How can teenagers learn the value of a dollar? For many teens, their idea of earning money is by receiving an allowance from their parents. Some parents give their children an allowance based on household chores while others don’t require their children do anything.

Getting a Summer Job is one of the best ways to teach them about hard work and  becoming responsible young adults. Below are other lessons teens can learn from securing a job during the summer.

 

1. A Summer Job will teach teenagers discipline. If your teen have a habit of staying up late and have difficulty waking up when it’s time for school or other appointments, getting a job is the best way to help them change their behavior.

The best lesson teens will learn is they are required to show up on time at their workplace. If they have a habit of tardiness, some employers will deduct their earnings or they will be terminated. This is an excellent way of learning how to balance their schedule.

An employer expects all tasks to be completed as directed, unlike parents who are forgiving if their teens’ chores aren’t done on time or correctly. Not following directions can mean they are without a job. This is a hard lesson to learn that they will never forget.

A disciplined environment can help your teen to appreciate hard work and the benefits of working in a cooperative and systematic manner. Earning a regular paycheck and gaining confidence will prepare your teen to become a responsible adult.

 

2. Hard Work Pays Off. When your teen is working in a disciplined environment, she will have a better appreciation of the value of money. She will know exactly what it took to earn her first paycheck and will less likely spend her money frivolously.

She will also learn how many hours it took of her labor to earn that money and a sense of accomplishment at being recognized for her hard work in this way.

Earning money instead of receiving it will also give her a sense of self-reliance and experience that will encourage her to take on more responsibility in the home and in the community.

 

 3. It will teach teens to balance their time. They are not adults and will need time to enjoy age-appropriate activities. Summertime is a great time for securing employment, but should be balanced with spending time with family and friends as well as enjoying their favorite hobbies.  For example, they can work a part-time job while participating in piano lessons before or after work.

 

Getting a Summer Job instead of depending on an allowance will teach teens the value of hard work and the value of a dollar. The next time your teen ask for a raise on her allowance, just say “Have you ever thought about getting a part-time job this summer?

Escrow – Things You Need to Know

canstockphoto4224483With the continuous growth and development of online businesses, having an Escrow account has become a necessity. Online transactions are very risky not only for the buyer but also for the seller. Unless the website you are dealing with is one which is reliable and proven trustworthy, you may not be safe from possible fraud and deception. In order to protect your accounts and keep online transaction hassles to the minimum, it is important for you to have an escrow account.

 

What is Escrow?

Escrow generally means a fund that is delivered to a neutral third person known as the escrow agent. The escrow will be used whenever you enter into transactions such as lease, sale or mortgage. The escrow agent always makes sure that the funds will never be used inappropriately and that it will never be released unless the requisites for its release are complied with. Since your agreement with your escrow agent is founded upon trust and dependence, it is very important to choose an escrow company which you can truly rely on.

 

How does Escrow work?

Every individual involved in any transaction online can work with an escrow company to prevent fraud. During an online transaction, the buyer and the seller, and in some instances, the lender and the borrower, comes up with certain arrangements on the terms and conditions of the contract. This contract of sale, lease or mortgage is considered as the law governing the parties.

After the perfection of the contract, it is signed by the parties and is delivered to the escrow agent. The agent then examines the terms and conditions of the contract between the parties. Before the escrow is “closed”, the escrow agent makes sure that the agreement is done following the requisites for escrow as provided by law. After making sure that all requirements have been sufficiently complied with, the account will be “closed” and all transactions will be in the hands of the escrow agent.

While the requisites for release of funds are not yet sufficiently met, the seller, the mortgager or the lessor cannot receive any amount from the escrow agent. The buyer, mortgagee and lessee, being the passive parties in the transaction, cannot benefit as well unless the terms and conditions have been complied with. In contracts of mortgage, where there is retention of property, both private and public, the escrow agent is also responsible for the payment of taxes, insurances and other obligations attached to such property. All of the actions of escrow agent are dependent on the law governing escrow, the terms and conditions agreed upon by the parties and the authorization of the parties.

Once all the terms and conditions have been complied with, the escrow will eventually be closed with a settlement statement prepared by the escrow agent.

 

What are the Best Companies to use?

The main objective in hiring an escrow company is to have secured transactions. If so, you need to deal only with companies you can completely trust. One wrong move of an escrow agent can make your funds disappear in a blink of an eye.

With their proven reliability and competence, the following escrow companies online have been rated as among best. Here are two of the escrow companies whom you can entrust your funds to:

1. Escrow.com

Escrow.com is a licensed and accredited escrow company which is based in the US. It is among the pioneer companies in the escrow service industry and has been growing since 2013. Escrow.com complies with several laws and regulations governing escrow transactions and can be trusted when transacting for almost anything sold online.

2. The Heritage Escrow Company

The Heritage Escrow Company is another good choice for escrow services. The company has several locations in California and has been serving clients for some time. More information about the company can be known when you visit their official website.

 

A good Escrow company will not only help you in your transactions but will also protect you from harm. If you want a smooth sailing online transaction from time to time, all you need to have is a reliable, competent and trustworthy escrow company. For more information about escrow.com, you can visit their website or contact their local service provider.

4 Ways to Get Through a Financial Emergency

canstockphoto6226763How do you get through a Financial Emergency? Just when you think you are on top of your finances and things are going smoothly, disaster strikes. It could be something as minor as getting a flat tire on your way to work or something big such as job loss or a medical emergency. If you plan ahead, you’ll get through it, even if you are going through hard times.

The purpose of creating a budget is to save money for the unexpected. Most financial gurus agree that everyone should have an emergency fund that will cover their expenses for at least six months. Even if you are doing well with your savings, it doesn’t mean that you should stop adding money to it.

Here are some tips on how to get through a Financial Emergency whether you think you are prepared or are in deep debt:

 

Review Your Budget

Although, you may have enough money in your emergency fund to pay for car repairs, you will still need to prepare yourself in case anything else happens. What if you or your loved ones are faced with a medical emergency that your insurance company won’t cover or what would you do if you were laid off from your job today? You will need to find ways to readjust your budget.

Reducing the amount of money that you spend on your cable bill is a great way to save money. If your contract has expired with your current provider, you can ask for a smaller plan or eliminate the service all together. You can also contact your cellular phone and internet service provider and ask for cheaper plans or find another company that has better deals.

Canceling magazine or newspaper subscriptions can also save you some money. There is a good chance that there are free online newspapers and websites where you will find the same information for free.

 

Earn Extra Money

If you are currently without a job, there are still ways you can earn some extra cash. You can provide a cleaning service, wash cars or provide a dog walking service for your neighbors. If you would like to make money in your pajamas, there are easy ways you can make money online. If you have items in your home that’s no longer in use, sell it on eBay. There is a good chance that someone is looking for that item as long as it’s in good condition.

You can even use your skills to make money as a freelancer. Check out places such as taskrabbit, fiverr, eLance and oDesk.

 

What if you don’t have enough money to cover the expenses?

Negotiate the Payments

If you are faced with high credit card bills or are behind on your mortgage, contact the company as soon as possible. Ask if there is a way that you can pay a lower monthly payment until your financial situation improve. Most companies will work with you, especially if you have a good history of making your payments on time.

If you had a medical emergency that’s not covered by your health insurance company, contact the financial department of the medical facility and ask if there is a way you can pay in monthly installments until it’s paid off. However, if the payment is more than you can afford, find out if there is a way you can send a lower amount.

 

Ask for Help

If you are going through hard times, swallow your pride and ask for help. Find out if there are charities in your area that donate food and clothing. If you have a disability, visit the Social Security Administration to sign up for SSI and food stamps. This will help out with your household expenses until you are able to get back on your feet.

 

These are a few ways to get you through a Financial Emergency. It may seem impossible at first, but if you follow these tips, you will become debt free before you know it.

6 Ways to Save on Child Care Costs

canstockphoto8769872If you have small children, they need to be watched constantly. Working parents often have to worry about finding someone that’s trustworthy of caring for their little ones. Finding good quality child care without breaking the bank can be a challenge. With the rising cost of child care it is not unusual for parents to spend almost their entire paycheck on child care expenses. This will often cause frustration and leave them wondering what to do next.

There are creative ways for you to save money on Child Care Costs if you’re on a tight budget. Here are some methods to help you get ahead of the game and will also give you a peace of mind knowing that your child is getting the best possible care.

 

Hire a Family Member

Having reliable relatives that are willing to care for your children is one of the best ways to save on Child Care Costs. If grandma and grandpa is retired, ask them if they can care for the children while you’re at work. Paying them a fraction of what you were paying the child care facility and providing food and other necessities will help them out, especially if they are on a fixed income.

 

Get Help From Your Job

Dependent Child Care Spending is a program that allows employees to put some money aside to pay for their child care expenses. The money is deducted so you won’t notice it. This will enable you to budget the rest of your take home pay accordingly to meet your needs.

 

One Spouse Stays Home With The Kids

Although, being a stay-at-home mom or dad is a good option, it is not always possible. Talk it over with your spouse and work out a budget beforehand to see if it will work. The spouse that makes the most money will obviously continue to keep working while the other stay home and take care of the children. You should also have an understanding on who will do the majority of the household chores. This will allow the working spouse to work longer hours to bring home more money.

 

Share a Nanny

If you have close friends or relatives that are also looking for someone to care for their children, you can split the cost of hiring a nanny. She can watch children for both of you when needed. Nannies are a bit more expensive, but sharing the expenses will help you out a lot.

 

Make Extra Money

Nowadays, there are numerous ways to make some extra money online. What skills do you have? If you like to write, there are freelance websites like Elance.com, iWriter.com and Articlez.com where people will pay you to write articles for them. Elance also hire website designers, computer programmers and other countless positions. If you have collectibles and other items around the house that you no longer need, you can sell them on eBay. These jobs alone can possibly take care of the child care expenses.

 

Switch Work Shifts

It is great for both parents to work the shame shifts to enjoy family time in the evening, but this is not always possible. Working opposite shifts can minimize the amount of time that your children spend at day care. You can also ask your employer if your job can become a telecommuting position. Working from home a few times per week will help you out tremendously.

If you use one or more of these ideas to pay for your Child Care Cost, this will possibly save you at least $100 dollars per month while giving your children the best care.

How to Turn Your Recyclables Into Cash

 

canstockphoto4434103In recent times, you may have been reminded over and over to recycle your old newspapers, plastic bottles and aluminum cans instead of placing these items in the garbage can. Did you know there are ways for you to make money selling your recyclables that you have lying around the house?

Recycling  involves collecting and reusing items instead of having to purchase new ones. Many of them are labeled with symbols to show that they are recyclable. This lowers the cost of these items and save energy.

You can use this as a learning tool to get your family involved. If you want to take a chance and make a difference for the environment and also make some money from it, recycling is the way to go. Here are some ideas on How to Turn Your Recyclables Into Cash.

 

Save Aluminum Cans Instead of Placing It In The Recycle Bin. If you are constantly consuming drinks from aluminum cans why not make money from it. If you have a scrap metal facility in your local area, they will more likely accept aluminum cans. Check with them to find out what items they will accept since some places are more strict than others.

Start a Junk Removable Service . If you have a truck and some storage space available, you can go around the neighborhood and collect unwanted items from your neighbors. You will be amazed of the treasures you will come across. Some people throw away gently used items or things that have never been used. They desperately want to get rid of these things to make space in their homes. You can start out posting flyers with a pick up schedule and the prices for removing them.

Create New Items Out of Recyclables. If you are crafty and creative you can make money online turning your recyclables into a masterpiece that’s in high demand. You can sell your art online or at your local flea market for top dollar. Check out etsy.com to gather ideas for items you can sell.

Sell Stuff That’s Sitting Around Your House. If you have old computer parts like keyboards, motherboards, screens and even smart phones,  there are places online that will pay you for the parts. You can sell these to consumers at Craigslist and eBay or you have the option to go to hardware forums such as Hardforum, Overclock Marketplace and Anandtech. Make sure you look into it first to see if the payments are worth the effort for collecting them.

If you have used items such as  Vinyl Records, CDs, DVDs, clothing and videogames that are still in good condition this can net you some extra cash. People are always looking for classic music and movies to add to their collection.  It can be fun sifting through people’s basements and attics looking for usable vintage items.

You can make some extra money with your recyclables if you have an enterprising spirit. Use these ideas to your advantage to turn this into a full-time business while saving the environment.