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Should You Fix or Toss: the Gadget Edition

Everyone has gadgets these days. However, it is only a matter of time when they start to mess up or breakdown. In that case which is the better financial decision: fix it or toss it out? There are a lot of reasons why gadgets are primarily indispensible. They make it easy to stay in touch, they allow you to work from anywhere, and it allows you to stay in touch with the latest updates and important news.

While it is unfortunate that with constant use and even some unforeseen accidents gadgets will start messing up, it is something that will need to be decided upon. It is ultimately up to what will save you money in the long run. Let’s break down some gadgets and see which is better: fix or toss?

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Printer

Printers are really handy when you have a home office. Documents need to be pristine and the information should be legible. Any good printer will have years on its life before it starts to conk out. When it does, is it a fix or toss?

Toss. This is because even if you are able to repair your printer, there is very little assurance that you will get the same quality of prints again. Issues in printed material will require re-printing. That will consume ink and paper—both of which also cost additional money. In the long run, it is a wiser financial decision to toss your old printer and buy a new one. You can shop for one that comes with more features and is more cost effective when it comes to ink consumption.

Laptop

Laptops are the lifeblood of any worker on the go. Most young professionals work on a laptop as it enables them to work from anywhere. They consume less energy as you can unplug them after they are done charging. When your laptop starts to mess up, which would be better: fix or toss?

Fix. Laptops have a lot of pieces that can be replaced when the start to mess up. Sometimes all it takes is a trip to your trusted computer shop to work out the kinks. However, when your laptop has lived quite a life with you and you have fixed it several times through the years, it is better to toss it.

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Tablet

Tablets are useful for those who like to be entertained while on the go. They are also handy for paperless offices who want their employees to stay in touch and be on the network. There are apps that can be used to keep everyone connected. When the tablet starts to mess up, what is the better option: fix or toss?

Toss. Tablets are generally hard to repair. They have a lot of micro parts that require specialized replacements. Most of them are not meant to be modular. You may end up spending the same amount of money to buy a new gadget when you try to have your tablet repaired.

With this, do an analysis of your present gadgets. When they break down, what you going to do: fix or toss?

The Extreme Advantage of Youth: Finance Tips to Apply to Get Ahead in Life

When you are young, the world is your oyster. This is the time to experiment, make mistakes, and safeguard your future. Tune in as we discuss some lifesaving finance tips to get ahead in life. Last month, we discussed what common financial straits those in their sixties commonly face today. It was not with the intent to scare or terrify but to inform.

We continue that trend with more financial tips you can fully apply now in order to get ahead in the game of life.

Build a budget and STICK to it

You have probably heard the word budget being thrown around all of your lives. It is a topic that you will continue to hear as you go on throughout your life. This is simply because it is one of the more basic things that a lot of people end up neglecting. Having a clear budget makes all financial aspects easier to keep track of and easier to deal with.

It can be easy to go beyond budget because of the mentality of “it’s just a small thing”. That “small thing” can stack up over time if you are not careful. Beat the “treat yourself” mentality and remember that you are planning for the long haul and not just for the quickie round.

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Track your spending

On the continuing vein, it would be important to track any and all spending that you do within and outside of your budget.

There are a variety of methods in which a budget could be created and maintained. There are a lot of mobile apps you can get in Google Play or in the App Store. Personally, some of us who use Android trust Money Lover to plan and track spending. It is a great way to keep abreast of where your money goes.

Get insurance

A lot of people neglect to get insurance for the important things in life: vehicle, home, and life. Often, young people do not realize how big of a help insurance can be in the event of an emergency or an accident. While you are young, getting insurance will be one of the better things that you can do for your finances.

While the monthly payments might seem unnecessary or too much, that can all be solved just be picking an insurance company that works well for your needs. The earlier you get started on your insurance, the better payout or better policies you get later on in your life.

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Never neglect your payables

Your credit score is something that you must take care of. It will determine what you are able to procure in the future. The better your credit score, the easier things will go for you. Be mindful of all your payables and never miss a payment deadline. A great way to avoid this from happening is to stick to your budget and simplify your life.

Keep a sharp eye on your billing statements for anything out of the ordinary. Anomalies need to be straightened out right away in order to keep your credit score intact.

Keep Yourself Out Of Debt

Credit cards and personal loans will always be there to tempt you, as a human in nature likes attention and some may end up getting into debt to buy things they cannot afford to impress people. Never get a loan from an illegal money lender because you will get into deeper debts you will not be able to repay. Get a loan from the best licensed money lender instead as they are regulated by the government.

Painting You a Picture: Financial Life at the Age of 60

Everyone works as hard as they can to enjoy a comfortable life. However, what is life like after you are past the “employable age”? This is what we will be discussing at some length today. The concept of retirement is not something that a lot of people consider while they are still young.

After all, why would they? That is still several decades to go—the people who are presently in their retirement years mostly only started to seriously think about retirement when they were a decade away from it. It is this way of thinking that has birthed a lot of the common issues that those in the age 60 and above face today. Here are some common financial issues they face:

Massive Debt

Those in their late years often bring a massive amount of debt with them. This is borne out of the many decades of supporting their families and shouldering other financial responsibilities. With old age also comes more health issues, this means that more and more of finances are being used to maintain the health of a retiree.

As such, it is a lethal combination for the finances of anyone in their 60s.

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Difficulty adjusting to changing procedures and fees

A constant issue with elders is the sudden realization that banking procedures are completely different from when they were younger. A fairly common practice of someone who is overwhelmed with details is to outright reject everything or to say yes to everything.

What often occurs is that elderly folk end up with late fees or extra things to pay for with add-ons that they may have not noticed they agreed to. This is fairly common in TV or internet deals. As such, there is significant impact in the finances of a person at this age.

It’s a glum picture, however…

It’s a reality that millions of people face every single day. This does not mean that this should be YOUR reality. As early as now it is important to remember that when you start early, time is your friend. Here are a few tips that you can apply in your life now to prepare for a better retirement experience:

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Allot 10% – 20% of your monthly earnings toward retirement

While it may not seem a lot, over the grand scheme of things, it will be quite substantial. Do the math and see what you can stand to set aside within the span of a decade. Just make sure that no matter what, this money must not be touched. Let the interest rate work its magic and you will find yourself in better straits in your latter years.

Learn to say NO

A common issue with people in their prime is that the urge to “keep up” with others is strongest. The “fear of missing out” is a large contributing factor in the massive spending that most people in their twenties and thirties do.

If you keep these few tips in mind, you will end up with a better financial situation than most in their sixties get to experience right now.

Will the Bubble Break: A Closer Look at Bitcoin

One of the best (or disconcerting) things about the world of finance is that there are always new developments. Today, we discuss one of the more recent developments: Bitcoin (BTC).

What is Bitcoin?

This is one of the more recent additions of internationally recognized currency. It was in 2009 when it was created by someone hiding behind the alias of “Satoshi Nakamoto”. What makes Bitcoin so different from all the other normal currencies is that it is the first one to be completely digital in its origin.

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If you were to do any form of transaction online, it would normally be processed through a bank or a website like PayPal. It was expected that a paper trail would be left behind like your name or anything that would help vouch for your identity. Bitcoin takes out banks and other form of middlemen from the process. Now, anyone can pay for services or pretty much anything in complete anonymity.

Names, addresses, and other precepts of accounting are not honored by Bitcoin. While transactions are logged, the names of who buys and sells, along with details of what is being purchased are never revealed. What you can only find will be the Wallet ID.

More and more establishments are actually accepting BTC as legal tender. From a user’s standpoint, having Bitcoin is pretty convenient as they are not subjected to any form of regulation.

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Where can you get Bitcoins?

You can actually purchase BItcoins in various online marketplaces. They can also be traded from one user to another through apps. You can also obtain Bitcoins from certain sites that allow users to “mine”. It comes as a reward for solving puzzles and other things.

 They are stored in virtual wallets or in the computer system of the buyer.

Controversy

As the biggest draw of Bitcoins is the fact that anonymity is assured, there has been significant concern raised about the lack of transparency. It has been raised to the attention of many that Bitcoin is now the preferred form of transaction by those who would prefer to be beyond the radar of the law (read that as illegal activities).

What makes Bitcoin completely interesting is the fact that instead of disappearing, it has only improved in price. The current value of BTS is $4,000.

Made for Safety?

The initial precept of Bitcoin was that as the names and particulars of the owner were not listed, it was practically impossible to build a profile on the owner. Meaning, those that go online looking for marks to con or to steal the identity of had nothing to build on.

At least, this was the plan. Much like anything that is borne out of human ingenuity, there are those that will eventually warp its intended purpose. Bitcoin might be banned in China; however, there is no doubting its power in other countries that do accept it as legal tender.

If you would like you invest in Bitcoin, it would be best to study the market carefully.

Why is Financial Literacy So Darned Important?

Financial literacy is a term that you may have come across in the recent years. Join us as we aim to discuss what it is and why it is just so darned important to everyone. Last time, we discussed the concept of credit and how you could keep an eye on it.

What you may not realize is that that whole discussion has generally improved your financial literacy.

What is Financial Literacy?

In the strictest definition, financial literacy is about the knowledge and skills regarding finance that empowers individuals to make suitable and informed decisions about their resources. In other words, financial literacy can something be as simple as looking a product and deciding that buying it now would save you more money later on.

It is about the understanding of what your money is worth and how you can not squander it.

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Why is Financial Literacy so important?

Money is something that affects every aspect of our lives. It is primarily responsible for the level of comfort and ease in which you can go about your day to day existence. With something so intrinsically intertwined in our lives, it would only make sense to arm ourselves with the necessary information to make wise decisions.

Financial literacy is something that can stop you from making decisions that ultimately damage your credit rating. Financial literacy is what will enable you to ascertain or assess something as a sound investment or giant liability.

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How can you improve your Financial Literacy?

There are several ways in which you can improve your financial literacy! Each of them has their level of difficulty. As everyone has their own way of learning, it is important to find which way works best for you. Here are some ways:

Read Books

There are a lot of resource books in the market that helps teach people on how to better manage their finances. Experts in the field of finances offer up their own financial journeys—all the successes and mistakes—and give a hindsight analysis of everything. You can pick up on the lessons that these books offer.

Be more active in your finances

One of the best ways to improve your financial literacy is through taking a more active role in your finances. Enough with just seeing your salary go to the different payables each month. Assess your financial situation carefully.

Determine how much you get monthly and assess where they go. A closer and more active approach to your finances opens up your eyes to your money’s true value and where else they could be better spent.

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Join a literacy class

There are now a lot of symposiums and talks given with money as the topic. Just be very discerning of who you listen to as not all of them may offer advice that suits you. Remember to take their lessons and edit it to suit your needs.

Your financial journey is your own. Empower yourself by improving your financial literacy in a manner that you are most comfortable with.

All Things Shiny: Let’s Talk About Credit!

Life often revolves around the subject of credit. Just what is it anyway? Join us as we discuss the ever present topic of credit!

What is credit?

In this life, it would be difficult to say there is not any record of your spending habits. This is particularly true when what you are planning on buying is quite large and you do not have the capital on hand. The option to complete the purchase would have to do with borrowing money—this is where credit comes in.

By the strictest definition, credit is all about borrowing. It will dictate you capability to borrow and which amount will be attainable for you. When taking out loans (no matter what sort of loan it is), it will be your credit that will be the deciding factor in the approval and the terms of your loans.

As you can see, credit is quite important. The final result of this is your credit score.

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Just what determines your credit score?

Your credit will primarily comprise of your lending history. Your credit score will determined after credit bureaus process all of your credit reports.

A good credit score will let you borrow more amounts of money with even better repayment terms and less interest. Good credit scores are not built over the span of a few months. It is a compilation of several years of paying bills on time and repaying any loans in an orderly fashion. It is even better if you end up paying more than you should for your monthly scheduled payment.

What is important to remember is that even credit reports may have issues with them. As such, it is imperative that you keep a sharp eye out for your credit reports and credit score. You can effectively do that by:

Asking for a credit report more than once a year

Most people do not usually check their credit reports until it is time to take out a loan. As we mentioned earlier, credit reports give you an idea of your current credit standing. If you are worried about paying any fees, credit bureaus are legally obligated to provide you with a free copy of your credit report once a year.

While taking advantage of that is smart, it is even better if you review your credit report in a quarterly manner. This way, it will be easier for you to detect any anomalies that need to be straightened out. Errors in your credit report can ultimately affect your credit score.

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Reviewing your monthly billing statements religiously

With the risk of identity theft being higher than ever, it is important for everyone to check any credit card statements and other utility bills religiously. If there are any odd charges or if the amount is higher than it should be, you must contest it. Immediately informing your bank or utility company that there is an anomaly is one of the best steps in protecting your credit score.

With this, hopefully you have a better understanding of the concept of credit!