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Secrets to Reducing Your Expenses Right Now

Secrets to Reducing Your Expenses Right Now

The current economy has created more awareness of our finances. Most people wouldA� like to know how to save a little money. The best thing is that even little changes, that you probably won’t even notice, can have a big impact on your bank account.

Everyone has certain expenses that need to be met each month. Some of those expenses, like a mortgage or rent, are relatively constant. However, it’s very possible to make small changes that will affect the bottom line. At the same time, some changes will give you an opportunity to be more ecologically responsible. Here are several changes that will reduce your expenses immediately:

Saving On Water Bills

Water evaporates faster when it’s hot outside. Your grass and outside plants will benefit more from being watered in the early morning, or at night, when the sun is not up. You can also save water by turning off the water when you are brushing your teeth, and although it may be tempting to thaw frozen food under running water, it’s not saving you any money. Instead, you can put it in the refrigerator and allow it to thaw in there, or place it in a bowl with with cold water.

Many people know that it is often a better choice to bathe in a bathtub, than it is to take a long shower.

However, an better choice involves a shorter shower, and the installation of a low-flow shower head, which may result in a 50% reduction in water use. Keep a container of cold tap water in the refrigerator and you will never have to run your tap until it’s sufficiently cold. Filling and storing reusable water bottles, will mean you can eliminate the expense of bottled water from your budget entirely.

Bundling and Eliminating Some of Your Cable, Phone, and Internet Expenses

Take a moment to think about your TV-watching habits. Determine if any of the following are true:

There are premium channels that are included in your cable package that you rarely watch.

You watch a lot of network television

You watch a lot of movies

If you’re billed for channels you don’t use, call your cable company to drop them. If you watch a lot of network programming, or movies, you might be able to drop cable entirely, and watch TV online. Many networks provide access to their shows at their website, and Netflix provides access to both movies and streaming video, starting at $9.00 a month.

Now, consider your calling habits:

Do you have free nights and weekends on your cell phone? If so, you may not need any long distance service on your home phone. In fact, many people are eliminating their home phone entirely.

If you pay for voice-mail on your home phone, you can replace it with an inexpensive answering machine, often for less than $20. Finally, you may wish to limit the speed of your internet connection. If you’re like most people, you could drop that down and never notice the difference. You can also see if your local cable company allows “bundling”. By putting 2 or more items together, you receive significant discounts.

Saving money doesn’t need to be hard. You might not even notice the changes, until you get the lower bills!…

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How Grant Scholarships Can Help You Meet Financial Goals During College Education

How Grant Scholarships Can Help You Meet Financial Goals During College Education

This is the beginning of college life for you! And you are worried about managing and paying for your college expenses coming up. You have two options: an educational loan and some resources. Have you ever known that one of the resources are the college grants available for students?

Scholarships are given to students graduating from the high schools and wish to obtain further education for a professional degree. These help ensure a bright professional future for the students.

Scholarships are a great way to pay for your college educational expenses without having to worry about anything. You would not have to get an educational loan, but should wait for your scholarship approval.

If you don’t get a scholarship right away, you should still not apply for an educational loan and should wait for some months. If you find that federal loans are lower than other loans, you should still not go for it. Ultimately you have to pay back for the loans as such loans are given to students with potential.

A scholarship which is plenty available is the best option. It only depends on how you search for them and apply for them. Many useful web sites are available which provide information on all scholarships.

To apply online, all you have to do is fill in your details and wait for their acknowledgments. You should apply for 25 to 30 scholarships to make sure that you get accepted for at least 10 of them, this way you will be able to choose the one you like the best!

There are many different ways you can get a scholarship. Some weird scholarships are available for people with a specific hobby or a quality they may have. These weird scholarships also include the Burger king scholarship or scholarship for people with great heights or scholarship for athletic achievements etc.

The scholarships can sum up to $10000, but it depends on the type of grant and the eligibility of student. The eligibility criteria consists majorly of academic achievements or high GPA in school or high SAT scores, along with leadership skills and background with extra curricular activities.

Scholarships are available where applicants must pursue their education in a specific field. Some of these fields include the most-needed areas of education and nursing, as nurses and teachers are such professions which are always in demand by the society.

Now the importance of grants and awards is clear to us in terms of college education. So why should we waste time and money in educational loans, because if we search for the right scholarship, we can give our career a boost by getting the right college education.…

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Raising Money in 2010

Raising Money in 2010

A new decade has begun, and brings with it optimism that the worst of the recent recession has passed. But for those who remain out of a job, or struggling to make ends meet, what are the options available to ensure your financial circumstances don’t take a turn for the worst.

Where do you start?

A good starting point is to answer the following questions:

o Are you looking to raise money to meet other commitments, take a holiday, buy a new car, pay your children through university or college?

o Will you be able to repay the money in future, and if so, over what time horizon are you looking to repay the money?

o How much money do you want or need to borrow?

Short term borrowings

If you are looking to raise money to meet financial commitments, or take a holiday, then short term finance may be the answer.

Common methods of short term borrowings include:

o Credit cards – many credit cards offer a number of ancillary benefits, such as airmiles, cashback, interest free periods, free travel insurance etc

o Bank account overdrafts – can usually be arranged quickly, and the amount is available immediately

o Payday loans – becoming an increasingly common method of raising short term finance, but only available to those with a steady income, and often involves exceptionally high interest rates

o Borrowing from friends or family – often the cheapest option as they don’t normally charge any interest, but often can be more difficult to ask those that are closest to you, and may put a strain on the relationship if you have difficulty repaying

The forms of finance allow you to get the money you need quickly, to be repaid over a short period of time. But you will be limited in the amount of money you can borrow, since the money is likely to be repaid in a relatively short period of time. Overall, you end up meeting your short term goals, without committing yourself to a long term burden to repay any monies borrowed.

Longer term borrowings

If you are looking to raise a significant amount of money, to be repaid over a longer term, then there are a number of long term finance deals available. Such deals may be more appropriate where you need to raise money to pay your children through university or college.

Common methods of long term borrowings include:

o Personal loans – offered by virtually all high street banks, building societies, as well as a number of online lenders, with a wide range of amounts/repayment periods available

o Remortgages – a relatively cheap method of finance, secured on your home, but may extend the time taken to clear your mortgage

Other alternatives

Where you are looking to raise a substantial amount of money, but do not want to have to repay the money, perhaps because you do not have a job, or are close to retirement, then there are still a number of options available to you:

o Equity release – release the equity tied up in your home in a tax free lump sum, with no commitment to repay the money, and without the need to move home

o Selling your home – instead of releasing equity, you may wish to consider selling your home, either in the traditional way through an estate agent, or by making a quick sale to a home buyer association

o Selling off other assets – if you have other assets, e.g. investments, you may wish to consider selling these first

o Releasing your pension – one of the most significant assets held by most people is their pension, however, releasing your pension early could cause hardship in retirement if not dealt with responsibly…

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What Benefits You Can Obtain From Using A Car Finance Calculator

What Benefits You Can Obtain From Using A Car Finance Calculator

One of the smartest investments that you can make today is to buy a car. The investment is a wise one, closely following that for your home or property. Buying a car has literally unlimited advantages. Not only can you save on transport costs, it also offers you endless convenience and something to fall back upon in case of an emergency. In today’s world, it is almost unthinkable to not own a car, hence it would be a wise decision to invest in a car if you already have not done so. However buying a car is an important decision so it is crucial that you put a lot of thought into the kind of car finance that you are going to use. At the end of the day, you do not want to be stuck with a car that is not a good drive, or one which is uncomfortable or fall back on monthly payments.

A car finance calculator is a valuable asset if you are thinking of buying a car. This tool is offered by many car finance companies that give you loans for a car. The purpose of a car finance calculator is to establish the monthly loan compensation that you will be required to make. The advantage of having a car finance calculator is that you can rest easy when it comes to the calculations that are associated with purchasing the car on credit. When you buy a car on credit, you need to be very careful about how you are going t repay the loan. Usually you are required to repay the sum as monthly installments in addition to the acquisition cost. The car finance calculator is such an useful device that helps you work out the expenses related to buying a car. The tool not only helps you calculate expenses, it also helps to put your mind at rest regarding how you are going to pay back your loan.

Using a car finance calculator is simple. All that you will need to do is enter the loan amount, the interest rate and the time of the deal. This is usually five years. Once you have entered all the necessary details, the calculator will produce the significant figures that you need to pay. This allows you to review the loan in a foolproof way.

When you are using the calculator, initially you will be presented with the overall expenditure for the car loan. This includes the interest and the amount that you need to pay thereafter. Then you will be shown the significant figures and the complete interest that you stand to pay.

The car loan calculator has many supplementary features that will make your life much easier. These properties make the calculator an indispensable when it comes to buying a car. The basic purpose of owning a car loan calculator is to decide whether it is worth going through with the process of buying a car and whether you will be able to keep up the monthly payments along with interest.…

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Cash Flow Problems For SMEs Being Addressed

Cash Flow Problems For SMEs Being Addressed

Cabinet Minister Francis Maude has revealed that the government is on course to more than double its expenditure with small and medium-sized firms from 2010 levels by the end of the month. This, combined with recent figures from the Asset Based Finance Association, will hopefully go some way towards easing some of the most common cash flow problems facing SMEs at present.

Speaking at the Public Procurement Briefing 2012, Maude said that 13.7% of its spending will go directly to SMEs by the end of March, which is up from 6.7% two years ago and equates to more than A�6 billion.

He announced: “We said we wanted to improve things for smaller businesses and today we have shown that the measures we introduced a year ago are making a difference.”

It’s often said that the UK’s SMEs are the lifeblood of the economy, yet they have borne the brunt of the extensive cash flow challenges facing businesses in the last two years. Low demand, late payment and a restricted access to traditional forms of finance are perhaps the most severe causes of the cash flow problems small businesses are having to contend with at present.

For this reason, the development brings good news on two fronts as SMEs’ order books will be replenished and the government actively tries to pay suppliers within ten days of receiving an invoice. It is hoped that, eventually, 25% of all government expenditure will be to the SME sector.

Meanwhile, the cash flow problems caused by firms struggling to access credit have received an encouraging boost from the latest ABFA stats, which revealed that advances made to its members’ clients rose by 7% in the final quarter of 2011 on an annual basis to A�15.8 billion.

This provides a stark contrast to traditional bank lending, which fell by a staggering 35% to businesses turning over less than A�1 million in the three months to November 2011, according to the Bank of England’s latest Trends in Lending report.

Asset based finance enables firms to improve their cash flow by accessing the cash that’s otherwise tied up in a range of business assets. While there was a 7% annual increase in advances for pure invoice finance facilities, which solely release cash against the sales ledger, there was a staggering 84% rise in advances against plant and machinery.

The cash these facilities release can then be used to reinvest into securing new business, as evidenced by clients’ sales rising by 9% over the same period to A�62.3 billion.

And with client numbers on the rise having increased annually by 1% in Q4 2011 to 41,496, and with 49.8% of clients turning over less than A�1 million, it is clear that this form of lending is available to SMEs.

Can your business afford not to investigate asset based finance further?…

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Things to Bear in Mind When Looking For Used Car Finance

Things to Bear in Mind When Looking For Used Car Finance

If you have chosen to buy a used car as opposed to a brand new model you may be able to save yourself a great deal of money. However, at the same time, your bank balance still might not stretch to paying cash and you may have to look for used car finance. Here are some points you may want to consider

Arranging your own finance before you go to the dealer, if this is where you have chosen to buy, may work out in your favour as the personal loan often comes with cheaper interest rates than hire purchase.

If you are going to look around with used car dealers for the car then always work out before you go how much you want to spend on a car. Use online loan calculators to work out how much you have to pay back monthly and how much the loan costs in total. It may be tempting to go to the dealer and see a car above your price range and be tempted or talked into taking on something you cannot afford.

If you are buying a very cheap used car, you may want to consider using your credit card to buy the car. If you have an excellent credit rating, you may be able to put the car on your credit card and then switch to a 0% balance transfer. This may work to your advantage if you are able to pay off the balance within the 0% period.

When comparing loans for used car finance always remember to compare the APR, this is the annual percentage rate. The cheaper this is then the cheaper the loan works out in the end. Look carefully at any loan that seems to come with very low rates of interest as they may be quoted as weekly or monthly rates.

Always check to find out if you have to pay a lump sum fee if you pay off the loan earlier than anticipated. For example if you take advantage of a special deal with a lower rate of interest for so long which then reverts to a higher and you pay off the loan early to avoid the higher rate, you may have to pay a fee.

Never rush into making any decision or sign any loan agreement without first looking over the agreement very carefully. When taking used car finance with the dealer they may try to tempt you to rush into signing by telling you such things as the particular used car you are looking at has others coming back to look again who are considering buying it.…

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Dow Reaches 11,000 – What’s Next?

Dow Reaches 11,000 – What’s Next?

The range of opinion on the future path of the stock market is as wide as ever. Optimistic investment pundits pointing to daily improvements in some economic metrics see opportunity for gains in the short-to-medium term, but hasten to caution that those gains may be short lived as significant market headwinds arriving as early as this fall could derail the market’s climb for many years to come. Some are hopeful that those headwinds will mitigate if republicans regain control of congress next November and temper the Obama administration’s anti-growth tax-and-spend economic agenda.

Pessimists acknowledge those daily improvements but believe that the market’s dramatic recovery since March 2009 is primarily the result of temporary government and Federal Reserve intervention that has stabilized the economy and the markets. They believe that the private economy is not yet self-sustaining and cite the persistence of many of the circumstances that caused the great crash last year as gnawing reminders that it is premature to claim victory over our economic woes. Furthermore, they believe the dramatic expansion of debt and deficits among the world’s major governments is a substantial threat to full global economic recovery and long term prosperity. Pessimists concede that congressional gridlock next year could stop the rampant government spending, but hasten to point out that gridlock won’t reduce the already robust government debt and deficit that inevitably higher interest rates will further exacerbate.

The optimists know that bull stock markets begin with seemingly unimportant short term economic improvements, but the pessimists know that market moves also anticipate the long term health of the economy. And, everyone knows that the US economy relies heavily on a US consumer that continues to weaken under the pressure of chronic high unemployment, growing credit restrictions, negative home equity, and bleak prospects for higher taxes, not to mention the negative outlook for both public (social security/Medicare) and private pension systems. Imagine what a spike in oil prices would do to consumer spending, as the situation between Israel and Iran approaches a climax later this year.

Given our economic predicament, it is rather amazing that the market has recovered so far so fast, especially because optimists and pessimists agree that our critical economic challenges are likely to reemerge as issues later this year and fester for many years. If the hard times do start as early as this fall, there is a real risk that a correction could begin as early as next month. Everyone knows that the market typically retreats during summer months, and if investors anticipate bad times ahead, it is more than a possibility that the slightest provocation could cause a major decline sooner rather than later. After all, who wants to be on vacation when the market corrects?

Moreover, one must wonder how the currently cheerleading financial media factors into the market’s good fortune lately. The media continues to encourage short term investment even in the face of an imminent, potentially violent market turnabout. When will the media trot out all the so-called doom-and-gloomers? After the correction begins, as they did last time? It would be instructive to balance all the bullish reports with the views of some well informed market bears, BEFORE the downturn actually begins. No one wants to hear their market autopsies AFTER the market starts sliding. The bears have been caged for so long, let’s hope the mere media appearances of them do not themselves trigger a market correction.…