Friday, July 30, 2021

Five Tips If You Are Struggling With Debt

 There are many people who struggle with debt, and it’s something that can easily take over and make you feel down and out of control. Whether you have fallen behind with your mortgage, car finance, credit cards, or student loans, there are many different debts that can have a huge impact on your finances.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

When you find yourself in debt you may find yourself looking for a top rated bankruptcy attorney, researching all your options, and even considering giving up. However, the best thing you can do when struggling is to be proactive and taking back control. 

Stick To A Budget A Have A Financial Plan

If you want to get a handle on your best, you have to have a plan and a budget you can stick to. A budget and financial plan give you the footing to lead you to financial success rather than stress. It is still important for you to execute the budget and plan you put in place, therefore, you need to track it. This way it gives you accountability. 

Speak To A Debt Advisor 

Debt and financial advisors are there to help you to create and find a plan that is designed to clear your debts and get you back on track. They will look at all your debts and prioritize them, they will also help you to make a budget and match your cash flow to this. You want to avoid allowing your debt to take over your financial life, so talking to an advisor may take away a little of the pressure. 

Make Debt A Priority

Not all debt is seen as equal. For example, things such as debt secured against your home should be made a priority. It is important for you to make sure your mortgage and rent payments are up to date so you aren’t risking your home. If you can, think about rearranging and refinancing other debts such as credit cards and personal loans. Aim to pay down anything with the highest interest first. 

Think About Refinancing 

You can refinance some debts, which could provide you with a lower interest rate, sometimes it will give you 6 to 12 months of the interest-free period. Credit cards are always worth the balance transfer if you have the option available, otherwise, you could be paying a lot of interest. Regardless of your debt, it is always worth shopping around and looking for a better deal. 

Make Sure You Pay On Time 

Once you fall behind, it can be hard to get back on track. The easiest way to manage your debts is to pay on time every time. Even if it’s just a token payment, or making a small additional payment make sure you pay something. If you are worried about making your payments or finding it hard to pay them on time, avoid taking any further credit. 

These points will all help you to remain on top of your finances and lead you towards a great financial future. Do you have any other tips that you could share in the comments section below? 

Never Too Early To Start Planning for Retirement: 4 Tips To Get Started Today

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How much is really needed for retirement varies. For some experts, you will need around $1 million in savings, or 70-80% of your current income. However, this also depends on your lifestyle, expenses, and running costs. For many people going into retirement, it is not difficult to live off their pension and savings. 

However, for a growing percentage of younger workers, the thought of relying on their pension contributions after their last day at work can be overwhelming. In fact, with the rising house prices, less job security, the ongoing pandemic-related crisis, and reduced savings, many younger workers have started to think about what will happen as they go into retirement. 

Here are 4 tips to bring into your lifestyle today that can help you prepare to live your best life after your working life ends. 

Start a Budget

It is easy to think that you can manage your money and you don’t need to have a budget. However, when setting up a family budget you will immediately see where you have been going wrong for so long. A budget can help you visualize how much you are spending in rent, bills, and overhead costs. 

But more importantly, it can give you a clear picture of where you are spending too much for entertainment. Once you have decided on your budget, it will be easier to reduce expenses and always have something left to do with your bank account. 

Have an Emergency Fund

As you get older, your responsibilities will grow in number and importance. You might have a family to look after, a partner, aging parents, and your own medical expenses. All this can amount for substantial expenses which you might be able to manage for as long as you can foresee them. 

However, if one of these expenses take you by surprise, you might end up wasting the savings of a lifetime. An emergency fund can help you cope with whatever life throws at you - but for it to be effective, you need to start adding to it today!

Contribute to Your Savings Account

It is always too easy to spend what we earn, especially if there are no major costs we need to cover or look after. After all, what is money for is not to be enjoyed? However, a little sacrifice now can go a long way! Instead of spending the whole of your income, you should consider always setting aside around 20% of it to contribute to your savings account. You will be surprised about the amount you would have saved in just a few months!

Find Industry-Specific Strategies

Each industry is unique, and you should always consider what sets it apart from others. For example, a freelancer or entrepreneur, will need to diversify their portfolio and investment type to ensure there is enough left at the end of their career. However, some bodies have other pension schemes professionals can count for. For instance, if you have been serving in the New York City fire department (FDNY), you should also follow some best practices such as the ones you can find here:

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

7 Tips for a Spontaneous Road Trip with the Kids



Now that summer vacation is here you might be looking for fun activities if the whole family is feeling restless. A spontaneous day out or even weekend road trip could be just what you need. It won’t take much planning in advance and you can enjoy the freedom of the open road. You could drive to a nearby city for the day or explore an area of natural beauty near you. As long as you carry out a few safety checks beforehand, you’ll be ready to embark on your next family adventure. Here are a few quick tips for a spontaneous road trip with kids. 

Get maintenance checks out of the way 

Get basic maintenance checks out of the way in advance. It’s vital to stay on top of these as any maintenance issues could cause a breakdown or accident. Make sure you maintain your car throughout the year. If you’re planning on driving a long distance on your road trip it’s advisable to do a few checks beforehand, even if your car was in the shop not long ago. This will give you peace of mind that you’re safe to drive and will reduce your chances of a breakdown.

Be prepared for emergencies

It’s also essential to be prepared in case the unfortunate does happen. Pack an emergency repair kit, first aid kit, and any necessary documents you may need in the case of a breakdown or accident. You could also take a contact for expert legal representation in case you come into any insurance disputes. If you’re traveling far, it’s also worth looking up options for emergency stops en route.

Plan your rest stops in advance

Even though you have a nearby destination in mind, it’s always a good idea to plan your breaks in advance. This way if your kids ask you for a bathroom break you’ll know when this will next be possible. You can try using one of these rest stop locator apps, for example, if you do get caught out. If you’re going on a longer journey, plan for a proper break so that everyone can get out of the car to stretch their legs, eat, drink, and use the bathroom.

Keep your devices charged

Even though it’s fun to be spontaneous it’s good to have a contingency plan in place, especially with kids. This is why you should keep your devices charged so you can make the most of route planning apps and GPS, and call anyone if you need to. Check out the best car chargers in 2021, for example. These are portable, fast-charging, and some are even solar powered. You’ll have way less chance of running out of juice. 

Pack plenty of drinks and snacks

Small snacks and drinks are a great way to keep the kids calm and distracted so stock up on these. Here are some good road trip snack ideas. It’s important to stay hydrated, particularly during the hot summer months. Pack a refillable bottle of water for everyone, even if you’re going on a relatively short journey. You can top this up when you arrive at your destination, if you’re going hiking or exploring.

Bring along a few distractions

It might be time to relax those screen time rules temporarily and let your kids play games on a phone or tablet in the car. This will keep them quiet for a while which will be safer and less stressful for you in the long run. Alternatively, you could let them bring a book or toys for a longer journey. You could have younger children pack their own backpacks to make it a little more exciting. They’ll appreciate being allowed to choose a couple of items each to keep them entertained on the way.

Enjoy the scenic route

The best thing about getting out on the open road is the views. This means you’ve got to make plenty of time to stop and enjoy them together. You could plan stops on the way for pictures, or even visit somewhere spontaneously you pass on the way. You might find once you get off the beaten track you pass small farms where you can pick up some local produce, or traditional restaurants and cafes. Be prepared to take your time and don’t rush. You could end up having more fun this way. Now that the nice weather is finally here, it’s the perfect time of year to get out and explore as a family. You’ll create memories you’ll treasure forever.

Essential Advice for Rescuing Your Road Trip Gone Wrong

No matter how well you plan a road trip, there's the potential for something to go wrong. Vehicles experience problems, accommodation can fall through, or you could even get very lost. Although things can go wrong on your road trip, it doesn't have to be ruined just because it doesn't go to plan. You can rescue your road trip if you know what to do. While you can't predict everything, there are a few common problems that you could prepare for before you get out on the road. If you're ready for things to go wrong, you can prevent problems from having too much of an impact on the outcome of your trip.

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Take the Right Steps in an Accident

If there's one thing that could have the potential to ruin your road trip right away, it's a car accident. A serious accident, in particular, could mean your trip has to come to an end. However, it doesn't necessarily mean that you have to go home. There might be ways to continue, especially if no one is hurt, such as quickly getting your car repaired or even hiring a new vehicle. If someone else caused the accident, start looking for expert car accident attorneys to help you with your case when you get home. Even if you continue on with your road trip, it's a good idea to look into how to cover any costs.

Get Yourself Un-lost

Getting lost is fairly normal when you're on a road trip, but you can usually find your way back on track again. But what happens when you get really lost? If you have no idea where you are and you don't have the help of GPS, you can feel pretty stuck. To avoid this happening, make sure you have the latest information about where you're going. Charge your phone or any other device that you may be using, and take physical maps as backup. And if you don't have any other options, finding someone to ask will help.

Finding Somewhere to Stay Last-minute

Booking accommodation in advance ensures you have somewhere to stay during your road trip. But things can go wrong, and you can end up with your hotel being overbooked or finding out your booking has been lost. It's always handy to have a couple of backup places to check or a reliable app or website you can use for a quick, last-minute search. Hotels and other accommodation will often be able to recommend somewhere for you or may even be obliged to find you somewhere else to stay. If all else fails, there's always the option of sleeping in your car.

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Breaking Down

Like getting into an accident, your vehicle breaking down can definitely put a dent in your road trip plans. There are plenty of things you can do to prevent this from happening. Check over your vehicle before leaving for your trip or, if you're hiring one, make sure it's been thoroughly checked over by the rental company. It's also smart to check that you have adequate breakdown cover, which will make it easier to be rescued if you need it. Have a number to call on hand so that it's ready to use if you do break down.

Recovering from Theft

Having your things stolen is a risk on your road trip. You can do some things to prevent this, such as not leaving things in your car when you check into a hotel. Keep your personal belongings secure so that you can protect them. If you do happen to fall victim to theft, report it to the police as soon as you can. It's definitely helpful if your things are insured because you'll be able to make a claim to replace them. It's also useful to have photocopies of any important documents, kept separately, such as your passport or other papers.

Running Out of Money/Going Over Budget

You likely have a budget of some kind for your road trip. You don't want to get home and find you've spent a lot more than you could afford to. If you want to avoid overspending, plan out your budget and make sure there's a little extra money for emergencies. If you do happen to go over your original budget, you should still have some left over to make sure you can get home. If you're really desperate, you might need to get in touch with friends or relatives to borrow some money.

Even when your road trip goes wrong, there are still ways to get it back on track so you can continue to enjoy it.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Budget-Friendly Ways To Maintain Your Car

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Owning a car is a great advantage, but it is no secret that it comes with several expenses. The necessary scheduled maintenance checks, such as changing the oil, cleaning the air filter, and checking your tire pressure, are a few of the costs associated with car ownership. However, despite these expenses, there are budget-friendly ways to maintain a car. Here are a few you can consider.

Have a car washing plan

Just like taking a bath is essential to you, your car needs to be washed regularly. Whether it's parked or in constant use, your car always picks up elements such as dust, making it usually unclean. Creating a car washing plan can save you a whole lot of money from the once-a-month visit to the washing bay. You choose to clean your car in the morning before using it or at night after it has been used. Your choice should be at your convenience. To clean your cars at home, use a tire brush, a mild detergent, water, and a dry cloth. 

Change special parts immediately

Over an extended period, your car would be subject to wear and tear. Some unique parts need extra attention when it comes to maintaining your car. These include the tires, brake pads, engine oil and oil filters, air filter, and cabin filter. Have a checklist for all these parts you find unique to the performance of your car. Routinely check these parts to help you maintain your car. How do you save money from changing unique parts? You can change these parts yourself and save you extra cash. For example, you can reduce the cost of maintaining your car by changing your tires weekly to prevent them from damaging beyond repair. Cleaning the air filter and cabin filter regularly will help your car perform much better.

Suppose you need to replace parts of your Toyota car. In that case, click here to get affordable rates for your car maintenance. 

Make your windshield washer fluid

Windshield washer fluids may cost a few bucks, but it can be very significant when you accumulate the cost over time. That said, you can reduce the extra cost of using a windshield washer fluid by making one at home. All you need is water, dish soap, and ethanol. You can use distilled water and glass cleaner as an alternative. Using your homemade windshield washing fluid can save you money and protect the environment from the harmful methanol used in factory-made windshield washers.

Make sure your car is adequately insured

Once you decide to use a car, you need to ensure it is adequately insured. Several inevitable factors can adversely affect your car, such as accidents. Getting insurance for your car, you protect your interests. Without the right car insurance, you will spend more money than necessary to repair or replace your car after a major accident. 

Car maintenance can be expensive, but you can avoid all that stress and keep it low on a budget with these tips. 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

How To Find The Perfect Career For You


Deciding which career you’d like to pursue isn’t easy. You might be just starting out, or looking for a career change? To help you on your journey, check out these five straightforward tips.

1 . What’s most important?

If you want to find the perfect career, you’ve got to figure out what’s most important to you. Are you looking for a career that helps others? Perhaps you’re looking for a career with the highest earning potential? You might what to return to your passions, and focus on your key strengths? Figuring out what’s most important to you is the first step to finding the perfect career.

2. Work with a careers coach

Working with a careers coach can help you to move in the right direction. A careers coach can help you to establish your strengths and your desires. Your coach will help you with your resume and cover letters, and to practice interview scenarios. A careers coach can offer plenty of resources and advice to help you find the perfect role. You’ll go through a series of personality tests, to find a career that’s a good fit. Before you choose a coach, it’s a good idea to read some online reviews. You’ll want to find a professional who is the right fit.

3. Build a personal brand

Once you’ve figured out which kind of career you’d like to pursue, it’s a good idea to build a personal brand. Create a website, a blog, and social profiles. Use your profiles and your website to showcase your brand, and tell people exactly who you are. When you’re developing a personal brand, these questions may be useful:

  • What’s unique about my career path? How can I express this in my brand?

  • What sets me apart from similar professionals?

  • How can I tell the story of my career to date?

  • Which career goals are most important to me?

4. Network to boost your career

Networking can help you to make progress on your career journey. By making the right connections you might just land yourself an exciting new role. Start off with online networking opportunities using sites like Linked In. You can also check out networking apps like LunchClub, Shapr, Clubhouse or Bizzabo.

To find in-person networking events, try using sites like Meetup. The website has info about lots of interesting networking events, particularly for entrepreneurs. Networking is one of the best ways to 

boost your career.

5. Conduct plenty of research

To find the perfect career, it’s important to conduct plenty of research. Look at educational articles and listen to talks by industry thought leaders. Check out podcasts, and reach out to respected professionals online. To make a start, this article on Nathaniel Whittle has some interesting info about establishing a career as an Actuary. For further resources check out ezines like Jobs and Careers.

Choosing the right career is no easy task. It’s important to take your time, educating yourself on all the options.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Long Term Investments For Your Family

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As a parent, you want to secure the future of your child. This means pushing them academically so they can get into a good college. This means instilling healthy habits that will prolong their lives. This also means investing in their future financially so that when the time comes there is plenty for them to inherit to continue on their beautiful journeys. Some investments mature over time and are worth putting your money into in order to have a huge payout in the future. Here are a few investments worth looking into to provide for your family in the distant future.

Real Estate

Real estate is a game where you can make a lot of money. Purchasing and investing in the right property could be to your financial benefit in a shorter amount of time. Purchasing a home for your family to live in is one way to invest in property. Over time, you can build up your home, add to it, and make it more modern, doubling its value. This is a great thing to leave your children for their future or something for you and your spouse to sell in your retirement. Purchasing other pieces of land in areas that are due for gentrification means that your land will be of high value to a developer and you can sell for an extreme amount of money.

Invest In Cryptocurrency

Many people are saying that cryptocurrency is the future, and if you buy into it now, you will be able to sell it for a very high price in the future. There are different crypto order types, but once you pick which currency you would like to invest in, you can set up the order type so that you don’t have to worry about watching it every day. You will be alerted by a financial advisor or from your own method of trading and investing when it’s time to sell and best to buy more. 

Invest in Big Companies

There is a way of investing called fractional shares. This means for $1 you can buy into a $1000 stock. Companies like Tesla and Amazon have stocks at this price, and for one dollar you can own part of that stock. With big companies like the above mentioned, you are almost guaranteed to make a decent amount of money because these companies are huge and only growing bigger. The money you make off these stocks can go right into a trust or account for your children that they can benefit from in the future. 

Your children are always going to be on the forefront of your mind. Every move you make and every decision you make is for them and their future. We all want our children to be successful on their own with their own investments for their own family, but if you can play your investments right, you will be providing for many generations to come. You can instill good habits in your lineage and make them rich.