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How to Pay Bills Online to Save Time and Money

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how to pay bills online

If you are not paying your bills online, you are missing out on the convenience and ease that it offers.

A few years back, people were reluctant to pay their bills online. The aspect of online payments was entirely new, and many people did not fully trust these transactions. Performing online bill payments was seen as a loss of control over their money.

Many people were afraid that if they gave their checking account numbers to utility providers or insurance companies, what would stop the companies from overbilling them? The traditional method of stamping envelopes and writing checks seemed all too safe and familiar. It is no surprise that a vast number of people still cling on to it as the preferred method to make payments for several things.

If you are still stuck in the past paying your bills through traditional methods, that time has been long gone. People today are paying all kinds of bills through online portals, whether they are mortgages, utilities, loans, credit card payments, personal loans, and even tuitions.

Paying bills online is a safe and convenient method to manage your finances. The use of checks has declined significantly in the last ten years as more people move towards the more reliable and convenient online payment methods.

I am going to discuss everything you need to know about online bill payments, so you can also consider leveraging it to your advantage.

What exactly is online bill pay?

Online bill pay is an online platform that allows you to make your payments without going through the lengthy process of sending things through the mail or writing checks. Everything is done online. When you make a payment online, you assign where the money has to go and how much you have to pay.

Beyond that, the bank withdraws the money from your checking account, and it takes the responsibility of allocating that money to the vendor to whom it is due. This transaction takes place in a matter of minutes or even seconds.

In case the bank does not already have an established connection with the vendor you need to pay, the bank issues the paper check to the concerned party themselves on your behalf.

How does online bill pay work?

You enter a person, vendor, or company you want to pay, and the bank manages the rest electronically or through paper checks made out to the payee on your behalf. Online bill pay enables you to receive, view, and pay any number of bills for up to a year in advance of the due date, all using one platform.

Most large companies throughout the world are set up for accepting online payments now. The concerned parties can receive your funds within a day or two when you use online bill pay. Online bill pay completely removes the aspect of late bill payments and any late payment charges you might incur.

There are still some small companies and vendors who do not accept online payments. The bank’s bill pay service takes on the responsibility themselves. In case there is a delay, the late payment charges will be reimbursed to you, so you only pay what was due.

Many banks today offer the basic bill pay service free of charge when you open a checking account with them. They might charge extra for additional features like access to transactions from Quicken financial software.

Ways to make online bill payments

While you might think online bill payment is a new trend, the method has been around for two decades. Online bill pay has come a long way with innovations, enhanced security, and additional convenience. You also have several options for paying bills online. Luckily, all the methods involve just a few clicks.

Bank’s online bill pay

Perhaps, the easiest and the most accessible option you can use to make payments is the online bill pay feature that your bank offers when you open a checking account. While most banks offer online bill pay service, you should check with your bank to confirm whether you already have access to it or if you need to sign up for it.

Setting it up initially might be a little effort on your part, but it can save you a ton of headaches and time in the long run. Each bank or credit union has its own rules when it comes to online bill pay services, but here are some general things you might need to do:

  • Collect the bills, including the addresses to where you mail payments and account numbers.
  • Enter each payee’s information into the bank’s online payment platform.
  • Choose when you need to send the payment to each biller.
  • Select whether the payment is recurring or if it is a one-off payment.
  • Set reminders that can help you track when each bill is due.

The bank’s online bill pay platform is arguably the most convenient way to make payments online. It enables you to organize your bills and keep track of the due dates. You also get a consolidated view of where your money is going so you can be sure if you have enough cash available to cover each payment. You receive all the bills you need to pay and pay each one through your bank – all through a single online platform.

Paying through your prepaid debit card

Another option for you to take care of your bills is through prepaid debit cards. This is an option widely popular among people who do not have checking accounts set up. You can use a debit card for making payments almost anywhere.

You can pay for everything with your prepaid debit card, from tuition fees, utility bills to student loans. Most companies nowadays offer you the option of making your payments to them online.

When you are using your bank, you need one username and password for every payment you have to make. Using your prepaid debit card to make online bill payments is slightly inconvenient: you need to create an account with each vendor and keep track of several websites and passwords for each of them.

An advantage of setting up your bill payments to companies automatically through your prepaid debit card is that several companies offer discounts on bills for that. Of course, I will suggest that if you set up automatic payments, make sure you double-check your payments so that you can track if you are ever overbilled by mistake.

Is online bill pay safe?

One of the main concerns for a lot of people is whether online bill payment is safe. It is a valid question, considering all the news about identity theft crimes and computer hacking problems.

Online payments or online shopping entail the risk of identity theft. Banks and vendor payment portals, however, utilize bank-grade encryption to make sure your financial information is safe and secure. Using the online bill pay platform to manage your bills keeps your data like your routing number, your account number, and the details of your transactions safe from hackers.

Is online bill pay free?

Most credit unions and financial institutions do not charge you for paying your bills through their online platforms. There are, however, who do. Make sure you read the fine print so you know if there are any unexpected charges or fees attached, and you want to utilize it accordingly.

Paying your bills online saves you money

I think it is pretty clear that a significant advantage of paying your bills online, whether through online bill pay platforms or prepaid debit cards, is going to save you a lot of time. You also stand to save money and live below your means by using online payment methods.

With the traditional methods of bill payment, there is always the chance of late payments. Perhaps, you did not have the time to post the mail, or you couldn’t find your checkbook, or you forgot. Online bill pay allows you to avoid all late fees by enabling you to schedule your payments well in advance.

Final thoughts

Between all the convenience of paying all of your bills online and saving money, I think you might be able to see that online bill payments are the way to go. A slight added benefit of it all is that you will also be going greener by choosing to make the payments electronically since it eliminates the use of paper for checks and postage stamps.

With so many reasons to make a shift to online bill payments, please don’t delay and try it out soon.

Should I Pay Off Debt or Invest?

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pay off debt or invest

When you find yourself in the trap of debt, it can be tricky to figure out where to go next. Paying that money back is one thing, but how do you make sure it doesn’t happen again? And furthermore, how do you make sure you’ve got the money to spend on everyday necessities while you’re unburdening yourself from debt?

Some people opt to invest their money in the stock market as opposed to paying off debt immediately, and we’ll go over some of the reasons why that’s both a good and bad idea right here. Don’t make a decision until you read our list of pros and cons for each option!

The Pros of Paying Off Debt

The most obvious advantage of paying off your debt immediately is pretty self-explanatory: no debt means, well, no debt! Unshackling yourself from the money you owe doesn’t just mean you have the cash to pay for everyday expenses and luxuries, it also takes a gigantic psychological weight off your shoulders that no one can put a price on. Resolving your debt quickly and efficiently frees you in both body and mind.

The spending and repayment plan that you use to repay your loans and credit is also something that you can control directly, which is an important element of anyone’s financial life. You won’t always have a direct opportunity to affect your financial future, and when that opportunity arises you should definitely jump on it. If you have the option to pay off debt quickly, the smart money (literally) is almost always on doing so.

The Cons of Paying Off Debt

Where you may find yourself at a disadvantage with this strategy is in the general unpleasantness of having to pay off your debts. While being in control of your finances does give you a certain boost from the autonomy of it all, it doesn’t make it any less aggravating to have to cut down on things like foods you enjoy or streaming apps that help you unwind after a long day at work.

Paying off the money you owe in the present can also be a distraction from concentrating on what you can make of that money in the future. If you’re always worried about just keeping your head above water, it makes it that much more difficult to spot the shoreline. Pressing debts should obviously be paid off as quickly as possible, but having to deprive yourself over the long term can cause a weariness that financial freedom doesn’t always solve.

dispute credit report

The Pros of Investing

If your debts aren’t critical or on the verge of becoming so, it might be a good idea to hold off on paying creditors right away and put some of that money into reinvestments or low-cost index funds. There are a couple of reasons why you may wish to go this route. Firstly, investments are a fantastic thing to have on your side if you run into trouble with your career or other emergencies pop up. If you’re working with the proper experts, invested money can be a great thing to fall back on if the unexpected should occur.

Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffett agrees.

“Consistently buy an S&P 500 low-cost index fund,”

the legendary investor tells CNBC.

“I think it’s the thing that makes the most sense practically all of the time.”

But investments aren’t just for keeping you level: they’re also crucial for building your wealth over time. After all, we’re pretty sure that your dreams don’t start and end with simply staying where you are in life hassle-free. Putting your money directly into your future can create an even greater sense of financial stability than being rid of debts in the present moment. When you have the pleasure of looking forward to more money, it can even motivate you to pay off the debts you have now as a win-win!

The Cons of Investing

Investing your money for the future has the obvious drawback of meaning that you’re still stuck with your debt in the present. The human mind is wired to solve immediate problems as opposed to thinking long term, so it can feel kind of silly to be putting away your cash in stocks if the IRS is already at your door with their palms open. Paradoxically, sometimes having faith in your future can create greater anxiety for you in the present.

There’s also the undeniable fact that reinvesting your money in things like real estate, and even in certain kinds of safer seeming bank accounts, can be a risk if you’re not sure what you’re doing. If you aren’t accustomed to the world of finances, you can put yourself in greater debt and make your present situation much worse if you reinvest improperly. Playing the financial odds is something that sometimes takes out even the experts, so it definitely isn’t something you should go into half-cocked.

Which Option is Right for Me?

There is a myriad of factors that go into deciding whether you should choose to pay off your debts immediately or invest your money for a long term nest egg. Ultimately, the two deciding considerations should be how much money you’re making and what kinds of debts you owe.

For example, if your debts are at the point where you’re at risk of having your car, home, or other objects repossessed, this is an obvious indication that you should forego reinvestment for the time being and take care of your loans immediately. The sooner you start living below your means and making the most out of every cent, the sooner you can get back to your life’s real priorities. If, on the other hand, you’re in something like the early stages of a credit card loan, it might not be a bad idea to take some of the money you’ve reserved for that and put it in an account or stock that will grow your wealth over time. Obviously, you shouldn’t wait for that debt to balloon to an intimidating degree before you start paying it back, but putting some money into your future so you can pay off other loans that might come down the line is a good idea too.

Of course, this option presumes you have a steady source of income from which you can pull money to resolve that debt later. If you’re unemployed or living paycheck to paycheck, debt can be a far more punishing experience than it is for those who are better off. Resolving the debt spiral as quickly as possible should be your top concern if this is your situation. On the other hand, if your career allows you to live comfortably and you have a certain level of disposable income, taking some money out of your debt fund or day to day expenses in order to make a financial cushion for yourself might be the way to go.

The Bottom Line: Ultimately, only you can decide for yourself if you should pay back your debts immediately or if you should take that money and reinvest it into something else. The prudent option is most likely to pay off your debts as fast as you can, but if you have a little bit of flexibility and are willing to take on a small amount of risk, a reinvestment could be just what the banker ordered. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that it provides for you and your loved ones, and that it won’t put you further in debt than you already are.

How to Make 15 Dollars Fast Now

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how to make 15 dollars fast

Need to make $15 dollars fast?

We come across moments when we need to come up with ideas on how to make $15 dollars in one day. And it’s often those times that really matter.

Whether you need extra cash to get the bills paid or you wanted to save up for something, these 18 legit ideas can help you make $15 in a day.

Depending on your situation, you’ll have to combine one, two or three of these ideas to get your 15 bucks. Creating new income streams can help you reach your goal and diversifying your sources of income is recommended.

With each new income stream you develop, you’ll be one step closer to your goal of getting cash right now.

Let’s take a look at these top ways to make 15 dollars fast in 2020.

How to Make 15 Dollars Fast Now

Hopefully, you can stop wondering, “How can I make $15 fast right now?” because we’ll only include legitimate and safe ways to make $15 a day.

We will begin with “quick wins” — or companies that’ll pay you for signing up — below:

Sign up for all four offers and you’ll be closer to $15:

Next, we’ll move on to other ways to earn your $15.00 quickly.

1. Make $15 fast with online focus groups

lendjet reviews

Getting paid to give your opinion sounds like a dream. But Survey Junkie actually pays you for joining focus groups, answering questions, watching videos, trying new products — you get the idea.

When you use Survey Junkie’s website or free app, you earn cash rewards. You can also get a quick signup bonus for joining.

If you are interested you can go ahead and claim a registration bonus for signing up.

Take Surveys and Earn Cash Now

Want other others to earn your $15 fast?

Here are two of the other highest-rated paid survey websites:

  • Swagbucks is one of the most recommended rewards sites. They offer a large variety of surveys and in different categories and they make payments via PayPal.
  • With InboxDollars you could earn quick cash for watching videos, playing games, and searching the web. Plus, they give you a $5 sign up bonus here if you sign up!

2. Make $15 fast by lowering your monthly bills

make 600 dollars fast

“I could not believe how easy this was to do. It took me about 5 mins of work and I had about $70 in my account.”

When you want to make a quick $15, one of the easiest ways you may overlook is finding easy ways to lower your expenses.

I didn’t realize how much I was overspending on my cable, phone bill and to random subscriptions that are on autopay.

Most people don’t bother with the trouble of calling up AT&T, Verizon, Sprint (or whatever cell phone provider you use) to try to get their cell phone bill lowered. So let someone else do it for you.

Avoid overpaying on bills by using Cushion, a free bot that will negotiate down bills for you. It will even check on those pesky subscriptions for you.

You’ll need a Facebook account to use it, as it communicates with you over Facebook messenger (or via text).

It’s pretty simple to sign up using your Facebook account and takes a minute. You’ll likely be able to save over $15 this year by using it!

Say Goodbye to Overpaying with Cushion

3. Make $15 fast with online freebies

free paypal money instantly

When trying to make $15 fast, every dollar counts.

Thankfully, you can easily pad your wallet or purse with cash back apps like Ibotta ($10 sign up bonus) and Pei ($15 sign up bonus) that pay you for the shopping you do daily.

Sign up for all three and that’s a quick $25 just for downloading three apps – not bad.

Here are some other companies that pay you for downloading:

  • Survey Junkie: Make $2-50 in your spare time each day by taking surveys, participating in focus groups, and testing new products. Join Survey Junkie here.
  • Swagbucks: Similar to Survey Junkie, but with a few more ways to earn (such as watching videos and using their search engine). Get a $10 signup bonus for joining.
  • Rakuten and Dosh: Two cash back apps that essentially pay you whenever you shop; Rakuten offers a $10 signup bonus and Dosh offers a $5 signup bonus.
  • Acorns:  Once you connect the app to your card, it rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and funnels your digital change into an investment account. Sign up to try it risk-free with a $5 sign up bonus

4. Make $15 fast in one day with Airbnb

earnest money

Another smart way to make $15 fast is by listing your space on Airbnb.

It’s smart because it’s simple and free to list and you easily make $15 in a day.

You can actually see how much you’re able to make by using their cash pay-out calculator to do some quick research beforehand.

By creating a free account, setting up a 5-minute listing and setting whatever prices you want, you have the potential to skyrocket your income. Of course, the nicer your home and location the better.

However, you don’t even need to have a spare room or home to share to earn with Airbnb since they now offer “host experiences“. 

This is a really unique thing that they offer and are expanding into. If you ever had friends from out of town visit and you showed them the cool things to do in your city, now you can get paid for doing just that… for strangers.

If you’re interested in learning more about getting paid for basically being a tour guide or listing your space, you can learn more here.

List Your Space on Airbnb

5. Let a chatbot save you $15 this year

payroll processing

The next idea for you to save an extra $15 today is by letting automation do the work for you.

Trim is a money saving bot that sends you messages via Facebook messenger and can help you save money.

After a quick 2 minute sign up the bot will go through your spending habits, show you all the subscriptions you’re signed up for (and should cancel), and even negotiate your utility bills for you.

Basically, a free personal financial advisor that you don’t have a pay a cent for, in fact, this chatbot will actually save you money. 

It’s also worth mentioning another bot that has a black belt in fee negotiation is Cushion (I use both since they’re both free).

Sign Up for Trim Free with Facebook

6. Get $15 fast for downloading an app

how to make $60 fast

By using the internet as you do every day, Nielsen invites you to make a difference – and you can make money too.

I downloaded this app on all of my devices and make around $50 a year passively.

You don’t really have to do anything other than initially registering your devices (phone, laptop, tablet) and they’ll pay $50 per device.

This is a smart way to make extra money as even if you just install it on your phone they’ll pay you $50 a year keep their app on it.

They also keep things interesting for me since they give away a modest $10,000 each month. I like to think I have better chances of getting it than the lottery, so consider it a free lotto ticket each month, too.

If you are interested in getting paid passively, I recommend that you sign up through here for a registration bonus.

Get $50/Year Per Device

7. Make well over $15 fast with real estate investing

how to make $60 fast

Wouldn’t it be great if you could invest in commercial real estate and apartments without dealing with all the hassle of buying, improving, and re-selling real estate?

You don’t have to be a millionaire to invest in these types of properties. Fundrise allows you to now invest in large-scale real estate for as little as $500.

For example, I invested in $1,000 in February (to diversify my portfolio) and my account has gained $15.98 in profit since then, it’s actually quite exhilarating!

Through their real estate investment products, investors earned an average of 8.74 – 12.4 percent on their money last year, and all without painting a wall or dealing with unruly tenants.

  • 8.74% – 12.4% historical annual returns
  • Diversify your portfolio with real estate
  • Maximize your earnings with a low-fee approach

There is a reason why they currently have over 200,000+ users, this app really pays us!

If you’re interested, I recommend you sign up for more information from Fundrise by clicking here.

Invest in Real Estate with Only $500

8. Make $15 fast delivering groceries

make $200 fast in a day

You can also make money fast by delivering groceries.

Instacart delivers groceries from local stores in two hours from stores like Whole Foods Market, Target, Costco and Petco. Why should you care? Because this is a lucrative opportunity for you to make money fast.

If you wanted to become an Instacart personal grocery shopper, you’ll earn an average of $15 per hour!

How to make that $15 fast though?

Sign up as a personal grocery shopper and start to receive grocery orders through an app on your smartphone and then shop and deliver groceries to the customer’s door. You can start earning quickly and get paid weekly and schedule hours based on your schedule.

Get Paid to Deliver Groceries

9. Get $100+ now with ZippyLoan

I need money now

If you actually need money now, then you can opt for a personal loan. When you need money in a hurry ZippyLoan is where to go. You apply for a loan through the Zippy Loan site, if approved they send your loan application to one of many loan providers.

You review the loan details and e-sign if you like what you see. No risk in checking what offers you’ll get. You can borrow between $100 and $15,000 as soon as tomorrow. Loans service for up to 60 months.

ZippyLoan connects borrowers to lenders through their network of lenders. They’ll find you the lowest interest rate and is one of the best no credit check loan. You can visit ZippyLoan here.

Get $100+ Right Now

10. Get $10 fast by using Rakuten

how to make $1000 fast

If you enjoy shopping online and always look for the best deals, Rakuten is a solid choice to make money the easy way.

Rakuten gives you money back on your purchases made. To get started all you need to do is register and before you shop next time, visit Rakuten first then your favorite store after. I do this every time I shop online because Rakuten works with almost every online store I can think of.

From the moment you start using Rakuten your savings is sure to add up and you can make $15 quickly depending on how often you shop. You can get paid via PayPal too. Rakuten also gives you a $10 sign up bonus to start. Get your bonus here.

Sign up Free - Claim $10 Cash

11. Get $15 fast with cash back apps

how to make $60 fast

Have you ever dreamed of paying less for gas each week? Well, that time has come, with GetUpside you can earn money by sharing your purchase receipts and shopping at local stores. I heard about this app on the radio and decided to try it out for myself.

The system is simple: you take a photo of your gas receipt and upload it. Then the app will digitize the receipt information and you’ll get up to 25 cents off each gallon. I’m surprised I don’t hear about this app more often though, I make a killing with it.

You can likely rack up an extra $15 this week by using them. And you can also save up to 35% at restaurants and 15% at grocery stores near you. The money you earn can be transferred to your Paypal account or redeemed for gift cards to buy at Amazon and other stores. You can get a download link sent to your phone here.

Start Paying Less for Gas

Need 15 dollars fast? Go get it

Everyone wants to make money fast. However, if you search the internet for how to make 15 dollars online you’ll find a bunch of affiliate marketers trying to promote affiliate links of spammy survey sites or services that haven’t even tried out.

Sure, the list I have provided may require a bit more work to earn your $15…. but they are real and honest ways you can ACTUALLY make 15 dollars. End rant. Got any more ways to make 15 dollars?

Did I answer your question: how to make 15 dollars fast?

Forex Strategy: How to Exit a Profitable Trade

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forex exit indicator

Forex traders oftentimes face difficulties finding the perfect exit. They become frustrated after facing huge losing form the trades which was initially a profitable trade.

Due to the miss calculation of the stop loss and take profit, many traders even blow up the trading account. To become a professional trader in the Forex market, you have to push things to the next level to make money.

Unless you are well aware of the fact, losing trades are inevitable you are not going to succeed in trading. After reading this article, you will know how to find the perfect exit in any trade.

Concept of exit point

New traders in the Forex market don’t understand the concept of an exit point in trading. Setting up the stop loss and take profit is knowing as finding the exit.

Your trade might hit the stop loss but you must assess the stops are placed at the correct place. Unless you do so, you are not going to end up making profitable trades.

Most of the time the stops are placed based on the indicators. But indicators should not work as the medium to calculate the stops.

On the contrary, the take profits are set based on the concept of the Bollinger band indicator. Without using such a concept at trading, you have started using the knowledge of support and resistance level.

Support and resistance level

Support and resistance levels are the most crucial thing in the Forex trading industry. Without having fair knowledge of the key support and resistance level, you will struggle to protect your trading capital.

Once you learn to find the key support and resistance level, placing the stops and take profit will be easy. However, some new Forex traders often use the lower period to find the potential demand and supply zone. But by doing so they are finding the minor trading zone. And determining the exit points based on the minor trading zone is a very big mistake.

The risk to reward ratio

Setting up the risk-reward ratio is more like creating insurance for the losing trades. If you risk $1, you have to secure a $2 profit from a certain trade. But things become messy and the retail traders often trade with negative risk-reward ratio.

The experts always recommend using a minimum of 1:4 risk to reward ratio as it helps to recover the losing trade. Though the starting part of your trading career might be very challenging and you might not find such good trades but this is the only effective way to survive in the Forex market.

And once you start to determine the exit points based on the risk to reward ratio, you won’t have any trouble with the exit point.

Fundamental factors

You might have to close a trade due to some high impact news. Let’s say, you have long trade in USDCAD pair. During the FOMC meeting minute, the FED lowered their interest rate. Lowering the interest rate signifies weak economic performance. Weakness in the U.S economy will result in a sharp drop in the USDCAD pair.

So, closing the long trades immediately will be a mature act. But improvising the trades is only for the experts. The novice and intermediate traders should never improvise any trade as it can increase the risk factors to a great extent.

Before you learn to analyze the fundamental data, make sure you switch to the demo account as it will give you the perfect learning environment.

Practice more so that you can understand the price correlation with the major news. You can also attend the Forex webinars since it is a great way to learn from the expert traders. Always push yourself hard so that you can gain more knowledge.

Once you have the right sets of skills, finding the exit point or making a consistent profit will be easier.

5 Best Personal Loans of 2020

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best personal loans

We compared the best personal loans for good credit. Personal loans can be a great alternative to credit cards for large or unexpected expenses. You can also use a loan to reach a financial goal, such as paying off high-interest debt or funding a large purchase. Uusally, the loan with the lowest interest rate will be the least expensive option and is the best choice.

The options below offer fast and easy online applications.

Please note that pre-qualifying will not impact your credit.

Summary of Best Personal Loans of 2020

LENDERRATES (APR)LOAN AMOUNTVISIT
sofi personal loan5.99-17.88%$5,000-$100,000GET MY RATE
credible personal loans5.95-35.99%$1,000-$100,000GET MY RATE
lendingtree personal loan6.95-35.89%$1,000-$40,000GET MY RATE
prosper personal loans6.95-35.99%$2,000-$40,000GET MY RATE
upgrade personal loans6.98-35.89%$1,000-$50,000GET MY RATE

If you have poor to bad credit, you should consider using LendJet to get a personal loan. You can see our full review here.

The Complete Guide to Living Below Your Means

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living below your means

Spending more than you’re making can lead to stress and financial insecurities. If you’ve ever bought something you couldn’t afford and then felt immediate guilt after, you might want to practice living below your means. Living below your means aids in growing your savings, prioritizes your emergency fund, and possibly helps in retiring early when you save more than you spend. Here’s how to spend less and save more.

Pay Yourself Off

After you finish paying off a bill you might be inclined to go shopping with your new-found money. Halt yourself from this thinking process and begin to pay yourself in an interest-yielding savings account. You won’t feel like you’re paying a bill since you’re already used to allocating funds to a certain account.

This is an easy way to save your money and accumulate some interest for an emergency fund or a long-term goal. Saving money is easier when you don’t feel like you’re constricting yourself, to begin with. Take a different approach and consider yourself a priority equivalent to that fancy car bill or your important school loans.

Download an App

In today’s world, you can coordinate your life metrically because there’s an app for everything. From tracking your water intake to tracking the number of steps you take per day, your financial health can be monitored just as closely. Download an app for tracking your spending.

Being conscious about your finances is easier when you have a budgeting app in your pocket. Most budgeting apps not only track your spending but also give you credit score updates and tips on how to save in the future. A tool like this could make you more aware of the impact of small purchases.

Increase Your Income

Typically earning more than what you spend each month is the basic standard for living below your means. One easy way to live below your means is to increase your income. Pick up a side job by mastering your freelancing skills or even start your own business, increasing your income can come in many forms you wouldn’t expect.

If you don’t have the time to pick up a side job attempt to negotiate your salary at work. Simply asking for a raise can be intimidating but maybe try negotiating with an offer letter from elsewhere. Seek better opportunities that may be around the corner when you need money. You may be interested in learning how one of our staff members earns $200 a day from side hustles.

Form a Plan

Being out and about means you’re spending money on either food, transportation, or everyday necessities. Spending time away from home is inevitable so try and plan before you walk out into a bad financial situation. Structure yourself on what you’re going to spend your money on and when you will allow yourself.

Unlike a strict budget, an everyday plan may keep you on track without the stressors of a tight budget. Simply having goals before going out can help maintain your track of living below your means. It’s easy to head outdoors and forget your bills or budgets, forming a simple plan on your financial objectives for the day could become a major saving habit.

Refrain from Credit Card Use

At times it might seem easier to put something on your credit card by justifying that you’re building your credit. Keeping your credit card out of arms reach is the best solution to not overusing it. Getting carried away and overspending is a common symptom of having a credit card. It’s hard to use under the recommended amount of 30% and it’s easy to completely forget how much you’ve put on each card. The less accustomed you are to using a credit card the better your savings will be.

Additionally, if you go over your spending limit this can show your bank that you are in financial distress. Practice the ability to pay for your purchases upfront and full. Committing to this might take some time if you’re used to always putting your purchases on your credit cards however, leaning off credit cards is a powerful step in living below your means.

Consider Downsizing

Living comfortably in a two-bedroom apartment may not be the best option for a single individual. Reevaluate your living situation, you may be able to cut costs on your biggest bills by downsizing. Consider your rent to income ratio to make a more informed decision about your living habits. When your lease is up, consider looking for cheaper listings around your area. Hold back from buying the most expensive house you can get a mortgage loan for. If you live in an apartment look for a more modest space to drastically cut your living expenses. If you’re a millennial, consider where you should rent or buy.

Some ways to save on living expenses includes renting a house with friends, living modestly in a one-bedroom apartment, or splitting a condo with coworkers. You could potentially live more modestly in an area with a lower cost of living. There are obvious topics you must consider before relocating such as taxes, employment, and moving expenses. If downsizing seems like the right thing to do for your situation this might be an alternative for living under your means.

Rethink your Transportation

Driving a new car can burn through your wallet faster than you might have thought. A new car isn’t a necessity and if you’re looking for ways to save, try other means of transportation before splurging. Buying a used car serves the same purpose at a cheaper price. If you’re able to pay in full for a car then avoid the financing hardships and take the easy way out. For most people, having a vehicle is the second biggest expense after paying for housing. Today more than ever, owning a car is extremely expensive, therefore if you can cut this cost out living under your means would become easier.

Eliminate Small Expenses

It doesn’t seem like it at first but all those coffee runs, monthly subscriptions, and spontaneous shopping trips add up. Pay attention to the little things and steer clear of unnecessary spending. Becoming conscious about where your dollars go every day isn’t easy when you’re not usually regulating your spending habits. Take a new approach and buy a coffee machine to save money in the long run or stick to only one subscription a month instead of splurging on a few.

Challenge yourself by becoming creative and finding ways to make up for the little habits you usually splurge on. Reducing your meaningless spending will deduct your debt and it will progress living below your means. Living below your means this way could retain a hefty chunk of change in your pocket by the end of the year to spend on a long-term goal.

Completely Avoid Debt

Financing anything is not the easy way out. It might seem as if you’re saving money since you’re paying something off slowly but that is rarely the case. Don’t finance anything if you don’t have the money, to begin with. If you don’t have the funds for major purchases, avoid this kind of debt and restrain yourself from making big buys.

Refrain from creating debt for yourself that could only grow to become much worse. Some plans to finance might have high-interest rates that could add up. Leave these decisions behind and don’t fall for the temptation of paying something off over time. Another bill only hinders your plan for living a more bill-free life.

Conclusion on Living Below Your Means

Committing to more efficient financial habits makes for a more secure lifestyle. Your long-term goals become reality and your emergency funds give you peace of mind. Living below your means helps form a stronger retirement fund and keeps you out of debt. It might require plenty of discipline and at first, it might not be the easiest thing to do. However, you could gain financial stability and an overall better grasp on your spending habits.

5 Tips When Dealing with Investment Property Loans

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investment property loans
Jesse Roberts/Unsplash

Investing in real estate is an exciting endeavor, but it can also be tricky—particularly if you’re new to the game. There’s a lot to consider when you’re looking for a property. Is it in a good area? Has it been maintained properly? Will you be able to rent it for more than what your mortgage and taxes cost? What are the current mortgage industry trends? Once you’ve finally settled on the rental property of your dreams, how will you finance it? Let’s take a look at five key features you should pay attention to when it’s time to finance an investment property.

1. Make a Sizable Down Payment

Depending on the type of loan you’re going for—and the type of property you’re looking to purchase—the required down payment will vary. For most loans, you’ll need to put at least 20 percent down, but if you qualify for an FHA or other types of loans, you might be able to get away with as little as 3.5 percent down. The more you’re able to put on the table, the more likely a lender is to consider your application because your cash shows that you’ve got skin in the game.

Bear in mind that if you’re not planning to live in the residence, meaning you purchase a single-family home or a multi-family property in which you won’t reside, you may be asked to put as much as 30 percent down to secure your loan. This leads to the next point.

2. Know What Kind of Property You Want to Purchase

If you’re planning to live in your residence full time, it’s usually easier to qualify for a mortgage. You won’t need to put as much money down, and you’ll have fewer hoops to jump through during the application process. If you won’t be living in the property, however, the process is often more difficult. That’s not to say it’s impossible, and it’s a great idea for landlords who are up to the challenge. But, it is important to understand that banks and lenders view applicants who won’t be living in the property very differently.

3. Consider Different Types of Loans

There are many different types of loans, and some are better for certain investors than others. Here’s a quick review of some of the most common loans investors use when they’re purchasing rental properties:

  • Conventional Loans. This is the type of loan most people are familiar with; it relies on your credit score, which needs to be at least 640 if you have a 25 percent down payment. The higher your credit score, the lower the down payment you’ll be required to put down. Lenders also look at your debt-to-income ratio, and it’s essential to understand that future rent you might obtain from the property is not factored into your income.
  • Home Equity Loans. If you already own your own residence, you might be able to tap into existing equity to finance the purchase of an investment property.
  • Hard Money Loans. Cash for hard money loans comes from individuals and companies who are specifically interested in real estate investments. They’re typically faster to secure than conventional mortgage loans, but they’re usually only available for a short term, meaning you’ll be required to pay your investors back reasonably quickly.

4. Turn to a Local Bank or Credit Union

Local banks and credit unions often have the ability to be a little more flexible with their lending practices than big national banks. They’re also more likely to know the local market and be able to offer suggestions that are most suitable for your unique situation. It’s a lot easier to build a relationship with people at local organizations. Because they’re more likely to keep your loan in-house (rather than selling it to another mortgage company), you won’t likely have to deal with changes to payment addresses and online information mid-way through your loan.

5. Consider Using a Mortgage Broker

Mortgage brokers are people who are well-connected within the industry. Not only will they shop around for the best interest rate, lowest down payment, and loan types you might not have considered, but many of them will be able to put you in contact with professional property management services, handymen, cleaning companies, electricians, plumbers, and all the other people you’ll need to ensure your rental property goes right after you’ve secured your loan.

The more homework you do upfront, the easier it’ll be to obtain your investment property. When you’re armed with these five tips, the process should be a little more straightforward, and before you know it, you’ll be looking for your first tenants. 

3 Things You Need to Do for a Comfortable Retirement

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retiring comfortably

After a long life of working hard, you’ve finally hit retirement age. This is a fantastic time to reflect on all the wonderful things you’ve done throughout your occupational journey, and start to focus on enjoying some recreation in your twilight years. 

You’ll either move into living off your savings for the rest of your life, receiving a lump-sum payment or payment plan from your retirement accounts, or receiving a government pension depending on what you are eligible for. To make the most of your money, a bit of planning is in order so you can make sure your retirement is a comfortable one.

Work out what it is you want from your retirement

You’ve suddenly got a lot of free time on your hands, and many seniors use this opportunity to take up hobbies they’ve always wanted to try or to participate in more activities. Deciding what you’d like to do recreation wise and researching the ongoing costs of taking up the activity is the first step towards a comfortable retirement.

Perhaps you’ve always wanted to build model trains. If this is the case, you’ll need to factor in the cost of the materials, the new parts and the ongoing supplies like glue. Deciding how much you’ll want to put towards this hobby each week will help you stay on track and discourage overspending. To help you establish a retirement budget,
a retirement calculator is a helpful tool in finding out how much money you’ll be entitled to each week whilst managing your savings effectively.

Maybe instead you’d like to save for a bigger goal, such as an overseas trip. Working out the cost of the vacation, including accommodation, meals, tips, and entertainment will give you a figure to start saving towards. You’ll be able to factor in savings each week or month towards your vacation whilst maintaining your budget and still living within your means. 

Preparing for the unexpected in your retirement years

Life is full of twists and turns, so it’s only smart to prepare for the unexpected. Writing out a budget, creating a legal will, creating a rainy day fund and making sure your insurance policies are up to date are all great ways to make sure that when an unexpected expense comes up, you won’t be drowning in debt.

Making sure your insurance payments are on time and up to date is like having a savings fund that is managed for you. If you’re the sort of person who dips into their savings quite a bit, insurance funds will guarantee the repayments you make can’t be touched until you need them most.

It’s easy to forget that unfortunate events can (and will) happen, particularly when your life is running along comfortably. A death in the family or sudden health issues can cost thousands of dollars in payments, particularly if you don’t have private health or life insurance

When these costs pop up and you don’t have a contingency plan in place, you could be facing bankruptcy or even homelessness in extreme cases. Preparing for the future now guarantees these worst-case scenarios won’t happen, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Making sure your savings are on track during retirement

Not all superannuation, IRA, 401Ks or retirement funds are created equally, and it’s a good idea to do some research on the fund you’re currently with, or make arrangements to pay into an account that more aligns with your goals.

Many people don’t realize that throughout their careers, they may have had several different 401K and IRAs that your employers will have been paying into. Consolidating these into a single account ensures you know the exact figures you’re working with for your retirement. 

You may be wondering if it’s better to save into a personal bank account over a retirement account, and there are both pros and cons to each of these options. When saving into a personal bank account, it can be easy to dip into your savings whenever you like, leading to overspending. 

Some retirement accounts charge a monthly or yearly fee you may not have been aware of, and your retirement money could be depleted quicker than you’d like. Finding a retirement option that fits your needs is, therefore, a very important part of making your future comfortable. Don’t be afraid to ring around and find something that suits your goals.

Learning how to keep yourself financially stable during retirement

In preparing for a comfortable retirement, it might mean working harder now so you can enjoy the benefits later. Paying into a life insurance policy, having a rainy day fund and sticking to your retirement budget are the best ways of making sure your future is financially covered, even when the unexpected happens.

Preparation is key, and your senior years should be spent enjoying the fruits of your labor. With a little planning and organizing, such as using a retirement calculator or consolidating your retirement accounts into one fund, you’ll be set up for retirement success.

The Art of Couponing Like a Pro

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the art of couponing

Everybody loves a good deal, and finding a coupon for an item you want or need is pretty easy, especially in 2020. In fact, according to a recent report — 31 Billion digital coupons will be redeemed worldwide in 2020, up from 16B in 2014 and there will be 1.05 Billion mobile coupon users worldwide by 2020, up from 560M in 2014.

But does that even surprise you?

If you ever purchased something online you know that coupons can be found in a variety of locations including the newspaper and saving sites like SavingLoop or Referral Wallet — among others. But what are some other ways to save money by couponing? And what are the best tactics?

Let’s find out.

The Art of Couponing: A Beginner’s Guide

Ready to get started couponing? Here’s how to adapt the life of an extreme couponer.

1. Stay up to date with the stores you visit

Stay up to date on the coupon policy and programs offered at the stores you shop at. Some of the things you need to know, include whether or not they accept competitor coupons, if they double your coupons or if they accept online coupons. If you are unaware of the answers to these questions, you might not be saving as much money as possible.

One thing that people should always do is put coupons to good use when a store has a buy one, get one free deal (BOGO). You are able to get an item for a great discounted price, and another for free. Many times, you’ll be paying less than 25% of the original purchase price.

Just remember to never buy an item exclusively because you happen to have a coupon. Sometimes people are so eager to make use of their coupons that they make purchases they don’t need and actually wind up spending more than they would have without the coupons. Just stick to the items that were already on your list and you will save more!

Pro-tip: To help save the most amount of money with coupons you should use them during sales. On some occasions, you will need to stash your coupons for a future sale instead of your next grocery shopping.

2. Use coupon and discount sites

Search the web to find coupon codes or promotional discounts for websites you shop from frequently. Many times, you will find a code that will offer either a discount or free shipping. You can also learn how to get free coupons by mail.

You do not have to use coupons right when you get them. Provided your coupons don’t expire, it’s a great idea to hold onto them until you can make use of them during a sale on the same items for which they offer savings. This will really multiply the benefits of using coupons, often reducing the price of your purchases significantly or even making them free!

As popular as the Sunday paper used to be to find coupons, the Internet is the best resource nowadays. There are many money-saving coupon opportunities online with regard to food and clothing. The key feature of this avenue is not having to clip coupons endlessly. Now they are print and go.

For the online stores where you buy things from, search for coupons and discounts using a search engine. Many times, you will find a code that will offer either a discount or free shipping.

Pro-tip: Before you go shopping with your coupons in tow, make sure you have a thorough list to follow. Also, make sure that you take all of your coupons with you, as you can double-check that it applies to the item.

3. Check out store ads before your visit

Peruse the store ads before you clip your coupons. You might decide to shop multiple stores in order to reap the most savings.

As you check out, watch carefully to make sure your coupons are applied properly. A lot of coupons won’t scan properly, and this can leave you on the hook for a lot more money than you have planned on spending. So keep your eye on the cashier and make sure that everything is going through just as it should.

Many people find that dollar discount stores are an excellent source of steals and deals. You can often find brands that match coupons with dollar stores. These are usually products that are overstocked and delivered to “low end” retailers to recoup production costs. This pays you in the end as you can take the coupon off the deeply discounted price.

You can sometimes get free coupon books by postal mail or cheap by calling the newspaper’s office to ask for a discount. Some newspapers will let you get the weekly paper for as little as a dollar an issue if you have a Sunday subscription.

Pro-tip: If you have a coupon for an item that is going to go on sale, then you could save even more money by making use of coupon-clipping services for ordering numerous copies of the coupon. A coupon website would probably be your best bet here.

Don’t purchase anything online until you do a coupon search. You can use any search engine to locate great deals by searching for the term “coupon” along with your retailer’s name. If there are any coupons available, you should be able to find them. Remember to check your options on your browser for the most recent results also. There may be free shipping available, or a percentage off of your total purchase.

Clipping Coupons 101

When you are learning how to coupon, do not let couponing monopolize your time. Looking through circulars and clipping coupons can take up a lot of time. Figure out how much money you can save and decide if clipping coupons is worth your while.

Use your coupons in line with the sales at the stores that you use them in. That will help you save the most. Generally, coupons will not expire before the item goes on sale at a store near you. Coupons, when combined with sale prices, can save you upwards of 90 percent on your total grocery bill.

Pro-tip: Make sure that your coupons do not take more time than you can allot. It can take up a whole lot of time clipping and organizing all those coupons.

You should not be ashamed of using coupons. No one has money to waste in these economic times. Many people are doing what they must to stretch their money. There’s nothing wrong with being savvy to save money.

Be respectful about your coupon use. Use the coupons for what they are meant for, and do not attempt to get away with using expired coupons. Lots of stores adjust their policies if a large number of people exploit them, which can cause everyone to lose out on savings.

The information in this article will help you organize and develop strategies for maximum savings. Use what you have learned to save as much money as you can. There are even coupons to help you travel at times as well.

Familiarize yourself with coupon acronyms. “BOGO” is an acronym used to indicate that if you buy one, you will get one free. Another one ‘MIR” has a meaning of mail-in rebate. Understanding these acronyms is critical to becoming a savvy shopper. If you are not familiar with them, you may not be aware of the value of the coupon.

Pro-tip: Don’t feel embarrassed by using large amounts of coupons at your store’s check-out line. Trying to save money can make you take a little more time, but it is worth it.

Next, you can learn more about money management to better manage your money, and life.

Your Ultimate White Rock Loans Review for 2020

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white rock loans review

If self-sufficiency was a choice, there is no doubt each one of us would go for it. However, it is not, and every once in awhile, we tend to find ourselves in money fixes we never thought we would. For instance, medical emergencies, late rent, unforeseen expenses, debt consolidation, and a long string of other money-emergency situations that can quickly drive us crazy. In such scenarios, some people are often lucky as they can get friends and family to help out. However, most of us are left stranded with no option but to look for personal loans.  The good news is that with platforms like White Rock Loans, now these emergency loans are an inch closer whenever the need arises.

White Rock Loans at a glance

  • You get get a personal loan from $500 to $5,000
  • You can get lender approved in minutes, all credit score accepted
  • Estimated APR is 6.95-35.99%
  • It’s a trustworthy way to get funding
  • You can simply complete the online request form and get an answer instantly
  • Get started at White Rock Loans

Compare with other lenders

LENDERRATES (APR)LOAN AMOUNTVISIT
sofi personal loan5.99-17.88%$5,000-$100,000GET MY RATE
credible personal loans5.95-35.99%$1,000-$100,000GET MY RATE
lendingtree personal loan6.95-35.89%$1,000-$40,000GET MY RATE
prosper personal loans6.95-35.99%$2,000-$40,000GET MY RATE
upgrade personal loans6.98-35.89%$1,000-$50,000GET MY RATE

» MORE: Compare online loans and pre-qualify

Full White Rock Loans review

What is White Rock Loans? White Rock Loans is a personal loan platform where borrowers with all types of credit history can secure emergency loans of up to $5,000. However, even though it’s a personal loan program, it’s vital to note there is a significant difference between White Rock Loans and other applications.

Why? Well, White Rock Loans is neither a bank nor a lender. It is simply a platform where borrowers of all credit histories are connected to a bunch of lenders who offer fast cash solutions. Even though the platform is relatively new, it’s already taking over the scene due to factors such as quick approval rates as well as the easy loan application. Hence White Rock Loans can be referred to as a lenders marketplace.

How does White Rock Loans work?

The loan application process on White Rock Loans is pretty straightforward and takes only four steps. To apply, visit the site, fill in your personal information, indicating details such as your employment status, your income, the purpose of your loan as well as the amount of cash that you need.

The application is pretty simple, but it tells lenders all they need to know about you before they cash you out. Depending on this information, White Rock Loans then connects you to a long string of Lenders who match your criteria. If the terms are appealing, all you need to do is accept the loan, and White Rock Loans will ask you how you want to receive the money. The best bit about this platform is that it has a fast-approval rate, and depending on the amount you’ve borrowed, you can get it as soon as the next business day. What’s more, is that you can qualify for a loan even with poor credit.

The loan repayment terms often vary from one lender to another. However, in general, White Rock Loans usually offers monthly or bi-monthly repayment options. As for the repayment period, it may be as short as 12 months or as long as 60 months. This again depends on the specific requirements of your lender. 

Is White Rock Loans legitimate?

Wondering about the legitimacy of White Rock Loans? Then you should not as the platform is 100% legit for several reasons. First, the platform is free! Unlike most lending platforms that require you to pay a certain amount of money upfront for you to unlock access to the loans, White Rock Loans doesn’t charge you a dime. However, note, the lender you work with might have fees as part of their repayment terms. That should not worry you because even in regular money-lending situations, you pay such fees.

Also,  even though the loan application process is easy, it’s not as dramatically easy as with most other platforms. You must first fill in your information so borrowers can get all the necessary history on you, to keep the process safe and legal.

Also, since cybercriminals are increasingly targeting personal and financial information, White Rock Loans not only complies with the industry data protection standards but also goes the extra mile to safeguard the safety of your data by using 256-bit SSL encryption. The only party with access to your sensitive information is the lender you choose.

So the short answer to whether White Rock Loans is legit is yes.

Does White Rock Loans check your credit?

Although you can qualify even when you have filed for bankruptcy, White Rock Loans does not perform a credit inquiry. It is simply a lenders market, and all it does is connect you to lenders who’ll help you out. That said, some lenders will often review your credit history before cashing you out, but not all of them. Therefore, White Rock Loans does not check your credit score, but the lender might.

What are other White Rock Loans reviews saying?

So far, most of the White Rock Loans reviews have one thing in common; they are all positive and reflect our review as well. Previous borrowers have left testimonials saying how the platform has helped them in the past with situations such as education funds, business loans, and debt consolidation. This is quite common for personal loan companies like this and LendJet (review) that offer personal loans for all credit types.

A majority of them are impressed by the fact that the repayment period can be as long as 60 months, hence gives them the flexibility to pay at their own pace. 93% of those who’ve used the platform reported that they would gladly use it again if need be. Other factors that White Rock Loans users are happy about include the top-notch customer service and the smooth sailing loan application process.

Pros

  • Unsecured personal loans do not require any guarantee
  • Get the money you need quickly
  • Good credit can give you a lower interest rate
  • Most are fixed-rate loans, which makes budgeting easier

Cons

  • Approved borrowers with subprime credit could receive higher interest rates and generally would benefit from finding other ways to make cash fast

Apply on White Rock Loans

Whether you like it or not, financial problems are inevitable. So it’s normal to need financial help every once in a while. White Rock Loans looks to be your go-to solution when any unforeseen problem arises.

GET STARTED WITH WHITE ROCK LOANS