Money managing basics

Human beings are scaling new heights in almost all the spheres of life. The work that used to consume good amount of time earlier can now be comfortably finished within a few seconds. There are several parameters to evaluate human progress, money management through software being one amongst these.

The software has more than a dozen advantages. The easy and instant record maintenance of the cash inflow and outflow, error free, user friendly, and convenient to operate even for those who have petite knowledge of accounts etc. to name a few. Keeping the innumerable merits and significance of money management software in today’s lives, there are different packages available in the market. But you get only what you spend for. For instance if you just aim at a checkbook operator, your package will be confined to maintaining or updating your checkbooks and nothing else. While if you desire the added functions like investment planning and retirement solutions, you ought to pay some more. So there are different features that vary with the cost of the package. However, some of the simple packages may not be attuned to various banking and financial planning websites.
The needs and so the kind of software package to go for varies from individual to individual. Some of the significant and widely used packages or features in high demand are listed below:

• Budgeting- is perhaps the foremost and most basic requirement of all the consumers especially those who cannot afford to hire an accountant. This feature keeps a track of all your savings and outlays and can help you with the details any time you log on to it. The financial planning software turns out to be a blessing for many. The reason being it keeps a record of all your small and large expenses which one most often forgets in the hurly burly of life.

• Investment Planning and Retirement Solutions- this organizes the passage of your money such as how much to spend in your kids’ education and how much to set aside for your old age. The Intuit Inc.’s Quicken and the Microsoft Money are the two most widely used packages in this context. They will judiciously plan investments and retirement plans. Allocation of funds becomes a child’s play due to their aid.
• Tax preparation is another feature largely used and conspicuous feature of the financial planning software. The tax preparation software has made it immensely easy to deal with taxes.

• Mortgage and real estate software features act as a guide when it comes tasks to estate planning and the like. This saves many of your precious dollars that you would have diffidently spent on attorneys and agents.
• The package that aids in allotment of assets and preparing of wills is also in great use. The expense on this package is significantly less than the consistent payments made to the attorney.

• Purchasing and selling stocks- this feature exempts you from the huge brokerage that you pay every time in buying and selling your stocks. This makes it much comfortable for people to sit at home, have a view of the market rates and sale and purchase stocks.
Apart from these there are many other relevant features that are not mentioned here but that certainly add to our convenience.

Money-Saving Ideas

Good news: Consumers can save nearly $3 billion a year just by using coupons when shopping. According to the Promotion Marketing Association Coupon Council, spending just 20 minutes per week clipping coupons can save you up to $1,000 per year. It’s easy. Over 85 percent of all coupons issued in the U.S. are found in Sunday papers. And it’s popular. Seventy-six percent of Americans are already coupon users.

The following tips can also help you on your way to becoming a savvy coupon clipper:

Finding Coupons:

• Look in the store. You’ll find coupons in retailers’ advertising flyers, on the shelf, at kiosks, even at the checkout. Turn your register receipt over-sometimes there will be coupons there, too.

• Try samples offered in the store and you’ll often be offered a coupon to take home a package of the products.

• Check product packages. Your favorite brands want to keep you loyal, so you’ll often find coupons on or in the package.

• Look on the Internet. There are coupon sites where you can print coupons and find providers who will e-mail you coupons. A product manufacturer’s Web site may offer coupons for brands you love. Check the store’s Web site too. Be cautious online, however, of someone offering to sell you coupons…there’s no need to buy them when there are so many available free.

Using Coupons:

• Organize your coupons in the order that you shop the store to save time and make sure you use them all.

• Make coupon-clipping a family affair–it can be a great math and savings lesson for the kids. Involve them in the process and let them “earn” coupon savings money.

• Use coupons with shorter expiration dates first.

• Shop on double or triple coupon days and use manufacturers’ rebates to realize additional savings.

Buy To Let Mortgages

As far as investments go, property is one of the safer bets. Buying a house to let out can be a safe and profitable way to put spare cash to use, and a good way of expanding your assets. While some approach letting as a purely commercial exercise, parents may also buy a place for their children, which they then charge them rent for. This can be seen as investment in both your and your family’s future.

Mortgages available for letting property used to be subject to higher rates of interest than standard residential mortgages, but in recent years this has changed. In an active attempt to encourage growth in the private rental sector of the market, interest rates have been lowered and criteria made more flexible. This led to a boost in the amount of properties being bought as income-producing investments.

The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) run the Buy-to-Let initiative, designed to encourage private investing in the letting market. Taking on an agent can help boost the confidence of your lender that you know what you’re doing – a letting agent will advise you on suitable property and how to manage it. Under a bonding scheme that members of the ARLA belong to they can also provide compensation if there’s a problem with rent or deposits.

The rent you charge, as a rule of thumb, should be around 150% of your monthly mortgage repayments. This should cover all the associated expenses – while letting can prove profitable you should take into account the time and cost involved. Not only will you need to find and purchase suitable property, but you will have to manage it well, whether this means maintenance, furnishing or advertising. An agent can take care of some of these tasks, but bear in mind you will have to pay their fees. Generally, you should think of buying to let as a medium or long term investment.

You should always make sure that a professional agent or solicitor draws up leases and agreements. While you can buy ‘readymade’ leases, these are not comprehensive enough to rely on. Remember too to include an inventory of all furnishings and fittings in the property.

Other costs to consider are: Insurance – both buildings and contents, plus you may want to take out rental protection in case a tenant fails to pay. Service charges and maintenance costs – try to ensure the property will require the minimum of upkeep and repairs.

Credit Card Debt – Increasing Every Day

Credit card debt is increasing every day, with credit cards becoming easier to obtain, consumers balances are on the rise, and people are even using one credit card to pay off another. Credit card debt is also becoming a problem on college campuses and it is a major factor in a lot of bankruptcy cases, with near $20 billion discharged in chapter 7 bankruptcy cases each year. It is an outbreak in world but even more so in the western world, most notable in the US.

A debt consolidation loan could help you to consolidate the high debts on your current credit cards to a lower interest rate and probably a lower payment. Consolidation loans are intended to help consumers pay off their bills and lower debt. When you have many cards with large amounts of debt and high interest, debt consolidation can be a life saver.

Rates on credit cards vary quite a bit, so a good idea is to know all your rates and try to transfer balances to lower rate cards when ever possible. It is also possible that consumers can call their creditors and negotiate for lower interest rates, usually it’s best to consolidate the debt at a lower rate when possible. If you fail to make your monthly payments as agreed, your interest rate will then go to the penalty rate which is usually quite high.

Overwhelming credit card debt is also causing students to be hounded by creditors and in many cases, declaring bankruptcy said Candy Acezedo, director of education at Consumer Credit Counseling Service. A high debt can also force a student to take a part time or regular job, which often will have a negative effect on their studies.

The best way to stay out of trouble with debt, is to just use your head and don’t spend money you know you will have a hard time paying back. If you are already drowning in debt, there are free credit counseling agencies that can be found online, that will be able to help get you started in the right direction.

Credit Card Debt – On The Rise

Credit card debt can be the source of needless stress in our lives, and has the potential to have a negative impact on your life. Credit card debt is not just a problem in the U.S. it is also increasing in industrialized countries as well. Credit card debt is also a major issue in a large number of consumer bankruptcies. Credit card debt will make it more difficult to live the life that you deserve.

Students

College students are among the most vulnerable to credit card debt. Credit card debt is growing faster among students than in any other part of society. Students are often offered incentives to apply for credit cards, and some requirements are often waived. With the ability to buy something now and pay for it later can be hard to resist for students, and most are already struggling financially. The Public Interest Research Group’s – “PIRG” Student Credit Card Trap study in 1998 found that most students who received credit a credit card from campus tables had higher unpaid balances than other students who received the credit cards elsewhere and were more likely to roll over their balance from month to month.

Interest

Credit card companies have started to take an interest in educating credit card users because knowledgeable consumers are much less likely to be overwhelmed by debt, leaving them in a much better position to make their payments on-time and avoid getting bad credit and even bankruptcy. If your already overwhelmed by credit card debt, consider a debt consolidation loan, so instead of having a lot of high interest credit card bills due, you now will have one bill that is due once a month usually at a lower rate. Consolidating credit card debt can be as simple as contacting one of the many credit counseling agencies on the web. According to the Consumer Action, (a public interest organization) who does a survey once a year of over one hundred credit card companies, card holders can be hit with late fees of up to $39 and raised interest rates.

The increase in credit card debt is rising at an alarming rate. Some popular economists are predicting that the rise in credit debt is likely to continue. Many people do not realize how debilitating credit card debt can be to their lives.

Overcoming Financial Crisis

Financial difficulties can be a great burden in anyone’s life. It makes a person confuse and helpless at times. It is also really hard to recover from a financial crunch as it can leave an ever lasting impact on your life. Especially a debt situation makes things worse and can considered as an overwhelming situation for a person. There are various reasons which can put you into debt situation. This can be due to taking out loans repeatedly as to pay back some previous debt or a company can get into financial crises due to over spending as to expand the operations of the company. This can also happen due to carelessness regarding using the credit cards without considering future crises. This can also lead you towards a debt situation. Regardless of the reason of the debt crises, it is important to take a sound and reliable advice from a dependable source.

Luckily, there are several debt solutions companies which can help individuals to get out of a loan situation. They provide you tips and tricks as how to overcome financial difficulties. They get detailed information about your financial conditions through thorough discussions and make you informed about the legal rights & options, thereby advising you to take the right measures to get out of the difficult situation.  Normally, people are afraid to talk to the debt solution companies and there are various reasons attached to this fear. There are many companies which look for their own profits rather than sincerely taking in account your debt situation and circumstances. A bad debt advice can trap you into deeper issue than you already are facing. Also, companies can differ in their choices.These conflicts along with the complexities involved in legal proceedings can grow reluctance in many people in taking professional help. However, it is of utmost importance to take a legal advice from a responsible and credible company as it can help you immensely to get out of a debt situation. Let’s discuss some solutions which can be of a great help in getting out of a troublesome debt situation. Also, this can be of great help for the people trapped in a debt situation.

Debt Management Plan:

Debt management plan can be considered as an unofficial agreement between you and your creditors which has no legal value and do not backed by the government. In this option, creditors will not have any legal obligation to accept your proposal with regards to the repayment plan, put a pause on their interests or hold back from taking legal actions against you in future. Reliable debt solution companies can be of great help on providing the right advice whether this loan option is suitable for your situation or not.

Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA):

IVA is a legally backed agreement between your lenders and you. This is allow you to make monthly payments to your creditors as per your own convenience for a fixed period of time which is usually around 5 years. IVA includes several rules which may or may not be suitable for your circumstances. A knowledgeable debt advisor would be able to provide you the correct information whether it is a good option for you or not.

Debt Consolidation:

If you have several small loans to pay back each month, it might be too difficult to handle. Debt consolidation is the process of taking a big loan in order to pay all small loans. In this way you only need to pay one big loan for your convenience rather than paying all loans.

Some of the other options include bankruptcy, debt relief order & protected trust deeds etc. Consulting with the knowledgeable advisor can help you with the right options and thus it can help you to sail through difficulties in inconvenient situations.