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Money Matters – Being Wise With Your Money

Money Matters – Being Wise With Your Money

When you hear the word frugal, it automatically brings up negative connotations and is often mistaken for being cheap. In reality, frugalness is a traditional value where people are careful in the expenditure of money or the use of material resources. In American culture where consumers are constantly bombarded with advertising and pressured to spend, spend, spend, saving money has become a rarity. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the US personal savings rate as a percentage of disposable income decreased to -0.4 percent at the end of 2005. It might be time to rethink your definition of frugal and begin to think of it as being wise with your money and not wasteful. Not only will you be able to save, but you’ll set a good example for your children. Here are some things you can do in your household, beginning now!

A� Take advantage of your local library. These are your tax dollars at work. Buying books and movies, or renting, can add up. Besides books, most libraries have video and DVD collections to check out, free of charge.

A� Eat out less often. Eating at home can save you a lot of money, and it’s probably healthier. If you go out twice a week, try scaling back to once a week. When you do go out, try not to be wasteful. Children’s meals often go uneaten. Try splitting a regular meal for two kids.

A� Cook with what is in the pantry. Often times we run out to the grocery store to pick up ingredients for a meal when you have all sorts of stuff on your shelves. Challenge yourself to use what you have.

A� Clip coupons. Tedious you say? It can be, but if you stick to the items that you buy on a regular basis, it’s money in your pocket. Find a grocery store in your area that doubles coupons and you’ll save even more.

A� Pay your bills online. You’ll save stamps, time and maybe some late fees if you set up automatic payments.

A� Hire yourself. Although it may be a matter of convenience, a lot of things that you pay others to do can be done yourself, such as oil changes, mowing the lawn, and cleaning.

A� Wash laundry in cold water. Washing in cold water can cut your electric bill substantially, yet still get the clothes clean.

A� Turn your lights off! This may bring back fond memories of your parents shouting this at you when you were growing up, but, it really does make a difference in your electric bill.

Whether you live paycheck to paycheck or make a comfortable living, it’s wise to take a closer look at how you spend your money and not waste. Creating more opportunities to save is simply being wise with your money.…

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Personal Finance Budget Series: No 20 – What Wealthy People Really Think About Their Money

Personal Finance Budget Series: No 20 – What Wealthy People Really Think About Their Money

One of the main characteristics of wealthy people is that they have confidence in their ability to make decisions, in their purpose, and in their personal finance budget. Confidence, self confidence specifically, is a learnable skill, and to become strong in confidence is to understand how to place the mind in the right state. With mind and money aligned, wealthy people are much happier than those who only chase money as an end goal.

Confidence: The Four States of Thought

Autopilot Thinking is when people are over familiar with routine decisions, and can quickly form assumptions about what is expected – like when using credit cards in the store, or driving home along a well known route. This is an external thinking state and can be harmful. Another harmful state is the internal, critical voice, which so often tells people that they are an imposter – that they “can’t do” or “aren’t good enough”

There are two helpful thinking states which balance this – the internal voice is the thinking state where the mind assesses options, while the external helpful state is the engaged state, where the mind is concentrating on solving problems.

The objective in managing money, in assessing the personal finance statement, and especially if financial planning has been ignored and money is a problem, is to move from a harmful state to a helpful state, by working out where all the money goes, balanced against when it all comes in. Reflecting and evaluating alternative choices brings confidence back into the personal finance budget process.

Confidence: Why Negative People are so Destructive

Negative people are destructive because they can suck out the enjoyment of life from all the people around them. These people suffer from afflictive emotions, they become jealous, angry, fearful. They are critical, condescending and demeaning. These people are the opposite of what they seem because they are not at all confident, and project their toxicity as a protection against being touched by the people around them.

In seeking to build confidence as a skill, these people need to be avoided, or managed because they will do everything to precipitate doubt in those around them

Confidence: Strategies to overcome Doubt

The secrets to overcoming doubt, are to become confident in taking action and making decisions with personal finance. By moving away from self consciousness, by deliberately tuning out, focussing on something else, concentrating on financial goal setting, budgeting and forecasting, people can grow confidence because they can see a future to pursue, which takes attention away from self – building confidence.

Another way to overcome doubt is to picture the situation as a movie in the mind. Then make it black and white, then dim the picture before finally moving backwards as if leaving a cinema, so the image gets smaller and distant. Finally, positive thought and positive action both dispel doubts – so doing something active, and surrounding yourself with positive people works too.

Confidence: The difference between a Public victory and a Private victory.

In growing the skill of confidence, it is necessary to experience both private victories and public victories. Private victories are where outcomes are focussed on the personal results of being proactive, thinking about the end game before starting, and then choosing the first steps to take. In matters of personal finance planning, it is important to work with a personal finance spreadsheet, or a family budget worksheet.

Better still to subscribe to a personal finance budget software, preferably online for ease of use. The outcome is to be clear and precise about the budget decisions to be taken. Public victories are where attention turns to the outside world, where it is important to see the win for both sides, to understand first the consequences of spending money, and then to involve the family or those around you in a team effort to curtail wasteful spending.

Personal finance online software allows for this behavioural victory, the growth of confidence in managing money and in forming new personal finance budgets.…

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India First Life Insurance company

Headquartered in Mumbai, India First Life Insurance Company is a joint venture of Bank Of Baroda and Union Bank of India, and the UK’s financial and investment company, legal & General.


Incorporated in November 2009 with paid-up share capital of INR 663 Crore, India First Life Insurance Company is one of the fastest-growing life Insurance companies in India. 


India First Life Insurance Company has grown exceptionally due to delivering good results to their customers and creating value for their investors without compromising integrity. The company is built on a strong foundation of trust and has a promising future.


India First Life Insurance Company has a plethora of life insurance products ranging from pension plans, term plans, ULIP, retirement plans, micro insurance plans, etc. The company has a variety of insurance products to cater to the needs of all types of customers. People can choose insurance products as per their requirements. The company has approximately 4800 branches across India.


India First Life Insurance Company has a variety of insurance products:


Term Plan

  • India First life Plan
  • India First Any Time Plan
  • Star First Combi Plan
  • Star First Optima/Classic/Comprehensive

Unit Link Investment Plans (ULIPs)

  • India First Life Wealth Maximizer Plan
  • India First Money Balance Plan

Savings plan

  • India First Life Cash Back Plan
  • India First Maha Jeevan Plan
  • India First Simple Benefit Plan

Retirement Plan

  • India First Guaranteed Retirement Plan
  • India First Immediate Annuity Plan

Micro Insurance Plan

  • India First Life “Insurance Khata” Plan

Child Plan

  • India First happy India Plan
  • India First Little Champ Plan

The process to claim India First Life Insurance

The following step by step process to be followed to claim India First Life Insurance:

The company can be notified regarding a particular claim

  • By registering online
  • By contacting the call center
  • By contacting the sales advisor of the company
  • By visiting Bank of Baroda branches

After notifying the company, the claimant has to submit the claim form at the earliest along with the following documents:


Copy of death certificate

Copy of age proof of insured 

Copy of claimant’s age & address proof

Copy of Claimant’s passbook and canceled cheque

Medical report and discharge summary

Copy of FIR and panchnama, in case of unnatural/accidental death


On submission of all these documents, a claim will be registered. The documents will be sent for verification. If any additional documentation is required would be informed to submit it.


After the investigation of the case, the claim can be accepted or rejected. If accepted settlement amount will be calculated. The amount will be released via bank transfer/NEFT.


What is life insurance?


Our life seems beautiful if we are blessed with a caring family. We work hard and put our best efforts to ensure the beautiful life of our family. We take care of all the financial needs of our spouses, children, and parents. 


But life is uncertain, you never know what life has in store for you. Due to any unfortunate incident if something unexpected happens to you then who will take care of your loved one.


Here comes life insurance, the best tool to protect your family from any financial crunch that may come up after your unfortunate demise.


Life insurance is the only way to help your family to meet routine living expenses and support your family to achieve all the life objective even when you are not around.


Life insurance is the most crucial thing that a person must have to secure a contented and peaceful future for his family in his absence. 


Life is full of uncertainties, but death is the most certain in life. It is not wise to leave anything to chance and protect the future of your family with the best life insurance policy as per your financial needs.


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Home Loans – By Using a Brokerage to Check Home Loan Rates

Home Loans – By Using a Brokerage to Check Home Loan Rates

This, obviously, is how a financing broker, usually called a mortgage broker, could be worthwhile to us. Mortgage and home loan experts are in your corner that will help you through the twists and turns of the house-buying labyrinth, and can assist you cut costs while also keeping you right on the legal duties of house investment. Buying a home really should be a satisfying period of your life, and if you know what you can and cannot afford to repay month to month, and the way that results into a reasonable offer price for a house, then it can be so. There are plenty of professionals who may be willing to assist you on this, and it is strongly advised that you simply consider them to save yourself considerable time and trouble.

A broker can locate the most satisfactory deal for you from numerous of home loans institutions, which an individual lender will not be able to do. Maybe you’ll need a higher percentage loan for the value of your home because you can opt for only a small deposit, or maybe a lower interest rate is more essential to you. A delayed payment format may be your alternative, whereby in paying nothing for three months, allowing you spend your spare cash on decorating and furnishing the home. A home loan broker has the wherewithal to check out many choices for you and can take care of these needs for you.

There are a few decisions that you will have to make when finding a home loan. There is one leading queries, is it advisable to have fixed or may be variable rates? Fixed rates would be a loan that you sign to receive an annual percentage rate set with the lifetime of the loan. Variable rate mortgages ordinarily provide options in addition to flexibility, but additionally may also be risky in the rising rates marketplace if perhaps you’ve overcapitalized on your loan. What is important to carry out if obtaining a variable rate loan would be to prepare and even budget with respect to hikes in interest rates, and make sure that you are always able to meet ones repayment commitments if rates rise.

Numerous individuals utilize the home loan calculator to check the rate of interest that’s in their means. The issue with interest is that it may alter rapidly, so you have to make a decision whether to get your rate fixed for the complete loan period or risk getting a variable rate with a lower rate, which might in-fact rise later. Nonetheless, it could be of use to some to be aware of the maximum price they can afford for the sum borrowed. To learn that, type in the principal (amount of loan) and also the specified time period you would like to borrow it for.

Then make a decision about how much you will be able to pay for month for month, and enter quite a few rates of interest within the online loan calculator until you reach the figure you are looking for. Now it is clear that you know the amount of loan, repayment period and highest interest rate you can easily afford. That will assist you when you are looking around for a house loan – or any other loan for that matter. These types of illustrations show how to use a home loan calculator correctly so that you can collate a whole lot of beneficial information. If you are searching for a loan to get a cabin, or any sort of residence, then discover a site offering an online loan calculator and take advantage of it. It is advisable to utilise this as an alternative to relying on vague amounts.

Hence, you need to keep in mind that, according to the figure of the complete loan, a small difference in interest rates can cost you several thousand dollars or reduce several thousand dollars over the entire period of the loan. A home loan calculator is a perfect tool for what you could potentially save by scouting around for the most reasonable interest rate. Most individuals are not sure what price of house they should be finding, simply because they are uninformed of how their mortgage repayments are planned.…

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Holiday Loans – Travel the World!

Holiday Loans – Travel the World!

After days, months and sometimes even years we all need a holiday, a vacation, some quality time off, with family or friends or alone to relax, rejuvenate and revitalize our body mind and soul. Working under the same conditions, day in and day out can always ware us down and decrease our performance levels. Sometimes, the solution is not to work harder and concentrate, the solution is to take some time off and enjoy some quality, if not quantity time to relax and reignite your mind. And how are you to fund this holiday of yours, especially because holidays need lump sum amount of money? The best option to opt for Holiday Loans, rather than canceling on quality time.

These monetary funds are of two main types; secured and unsecured types. The lender provides you with different amount ranges and repayment time periods in each case. In both the cases, you can apply for an extension, sighting valid reasons, which will be given along with an added interest rate.

Both these types of Holiday Loans, secured and unsecured, have their own advantages and disadvantages. In case of secured type, its advantage is that the interest rate charged is lesser than unsecured type. But, its disadvantage is that you are required to mortgage some land holdings with the lender as security. You must make sure that the value of the land must be in accordance with the total amount borrowed. You must make sure to repay your loan within the stipulated time limit; otherwise your land holdings will be ceased. On the other hand, in case of unsecured fund type, its advantage is that you are not required to mortgage any land holdings with the lender as security. As this puts the lender at a risk of losing a high amount of money the interest rate charged is more than secured loan type. You must also prove to the lender that you are capable of repaying your loan by showing that you have an adequately paying job, where you earn enough to repay your loan in time.…

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Index Annuity Crediting Methods

Index Annuity Crediting Methods

An index annuity earns interested based on an external financial index, such as the S&P 500. Interest that is credited to the annuity is based on a formula that is linked to the underlying index. An index annuity also is usually guaranteed to pay a minimum interest rate so that investors do not lose their initial investment premiums.

One of the most important features in determining the actual interest received on a contract is the crediting method used to measure the amount of change in the underlying index. The three most common methods are annual reset (ratcheting), high-water mark, and point-to-point:

Annual Reset

o Interest is determined by comparing the index value at the end of the contract year with the index value at the beginning of the contract year. Interest is added each year for the term of the contract.

High-Water Mark

o With this method, the index value is recorded at various points in time during the term of the contract. Typically, the annual anniversary is used as the reference points. Interest is added at the end of the contract and is based on the difference between the highest index value and the beginning index value.


o The final method pays interest at the end of the contract, similar to the high-water mark method. However, the amount is based on the difference between the index value at the end of the term and the index value at the beginning of the contract.

These three methods may yield similar results over one time span or drastically different results during another. It is important that investors research the options that are available on the annuity index annuity policy they are interested in because there are unique advantages and disadvantages for each method.

The annual reset method has the advantage that the interest is reevaluated each year and that future decreases in the index cannot affect the interest that was earned in previous years. The disadvantage for annual reset is that the participation rate may change each year. In general, its level will be lower than other indexing methods. Sometimes this method is also combined with a cap on the amount of interest that can be earned in a given contract year.

The advantage of the high-water mark method is that a customer may receive a higher amount of interest than other methods if the index reaches a high point towards the beginning or middle of the contract, then falls at the end of the contract term. However, the disadvantages are that this method sometimes comes with a cap and a lower participation rate than other methods. In addition, some contracts state that if the annuitant surrenders the contract before the end of the term, then the interest is forfeited.

The final method, point-to-point, has the advantage that many of the contracts have a higher participation rate than other index annuity methods since interest cannot be calculated before the end of the policy. However, like with the high-water mark method, some contracts will not pay interest if the annuity is surrenders before the term has ended.

The three index annuity crediting methods discussed above seem similar, however, the index-linked interest that is paid on an annuity will heavily depend on which method is used for the particular policy. Therefore, it is important that investors weigh the pros and cons of each method and choose the one best suited to current market trends.…

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Financial Planning and Wealth Management – A Comprehensive Guide

Financial Planning and Wealth Management – A Comprehensive Guide

Ways by which Financial Planning can be undertaken?

1. Cash Flow Management

Incomes and expenditures can be better matched through the Plan. It assists in identifying whether borrowings are within prudent limits.

2. Insurance

It usually takes care of unpredictable needs and as these needs can arise at anytime, insurance is extremely important.

3. Investment Planning

With increased volatility in capital markets, there is a surge in demand for small saving schemes as a safe haven. Schemes like PPF, NSC, KVP, RBI bonds, Senior Citizens Savings Scheme, Post office MIS need to be part of asset allocation for investors. Although, it is good to keep some risk free investment in the portfolio as a part of overall asset allocation.

4. Retirement Planning

Due to increase in longevity in life and growing expenses due to inflation sustaining the living standard during post retirement stage is a difficult task, so a wise investment of a nest egg during working life helps in lining comfortably during retirement stage

5. Taxation

The financial plan should help client in minimizing its tax liability and also maximizing its after-tax returns from your investments.

6. Estate Planning

Estate planning is arranging for the transfer of property to legal heirs and to other beneficiaries, in a way that will, as much as possible, achieve its objectives.

Who requires Financial Planning?

It is useful to everyone. Since every one has dreams and goals to be fulfilled, so even people earning small amounts of income should get their financial planning done, so that their limited income can be used more efficiently.

How is it different from Wealth Management (WM)?

Wealth management sounds similar to Financial Planning (FP), it differs in the sense that Financial Planning is for one and all while WM is only for a select few. It relates more the management of plenty i.e. taking care of the needs of affluent clients as part of a long-term, consultative relationship, while FP aims at getting the most out of limited resources.

What is a financial Plan?

Financial plan provides direction and meaning to financial decisions. It helps to understand how each financial decision can affect other areas of finances. For example, buying a particular investment product might help client save adequately to finance for its child’s higher education or it may provide enough for a comfortable retirement.

It includes a review of net worth, goals and objectives, investment portfolio, retirement planning, tax planning and insurance needs, as well as a plan for implementing client’s goals.

After a plan is developed, what next?

The best plan is useless unless it is put into action. Hence the plan should be implemented in said manner, and review the plan when there is a lifestyle change such as marriage, death or divorce. The review also considers changing goals and circumstances.

The entire process for a financial planner can be summed up as follows:

• Initial meetings with client and answering its queries if any.

• Receiving the Letter of Engagement

• Handing over a detailed questionnaire.

• Getting answers to those questions

• Plan preparation

• Getting the “Authority to Proceed” Letter enabling you to carry out the recommendations contained therein

• Plan Implementation

• Periodic Plan Review…