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Personal Finance Series: No 13 – Why Vacations Are Sacred Spending

Personal Finance Series: No 13 – Why Vacations Are Sacred Spending

People thinking about vacations and holidays have a wide variety of choice, from family budget vacations, budget breaks, luxury destinations, stay-cations, and many more but the common factor driving this form of goal setting is emotional stimulation. People want to ‘get away’ and even though there are so many choices – the way the brain works through the decisions to spend money is pretty much the same for everyone. It is known as Away From Home Horizons spending and is one of the 14 ways in which the brain compartmentalizes or thoughts about spending money.

Very few people get out the family budget worksheet or the personal finance spreadsheet when considering away from home horizons spending because there is an emotional distance between the two experiences. It is this distance which make this category of expenditure so lucrative for the businesses and people who influence you money.

There are 4 Primary ways in which the mind works regarding away from home horizons spending;

1. Away from Home Horizons: Planned Experiences

It has been well documented in the field of social psychology that the primary motivation for a holiday or vacation is one of pleasure seeking – the pursuit of emotional arousal. Often therefore, there is a great deal of emotional involvement in the decision making process of choosing where to go, which mode of transport to take, where to stay and to some extent a loosely outlined itinerary.

More often than not, a significant proportion of the cost of these choices is spent long in advance of the enjoyment of the experience, and by using a credit card rather than cash to pay for it. This produces a gap in time, and during that gap, the brain justifies the spend by imagining the feelings, the memories and the experience in advance of getting there.

Vacation time is experienced as a life event.

2. Away From Home: Stay-cations

Since travel planning and itineraries have visible up front costs, and only imagined benefits, many people perceive that the costs can be too high to travel abroad to expand horizons, but the driver of emotional arousal is still there, giving rise to an increase of staying at home, known as staycations. These can involve planning trips out from the home, or they can involve local resorts, because the up-front aspect of cost is perceived to be significantly less. However, because there is a higher degree of familiarity with places that are already known, than when travelling abroad, the pleasure and experience for many people is just not the same because the level of new variety and difference is not the same.

3. Away From Home Short Breaks, Home and Abroad

Vacations are important to the well being of people because of stressful lives, difficult jobs, illness, depression and routines. ‘Getting Away” is recognised as so valuable, that many charities donate vacations to the long term sick, the terminally ill, and their carers. It is not surprising therefore that the equivalent to food snacking exist for vacations – the short break. These times allow for just enough variety to deliver the desired perception of freedom, sensation, novelty and connection with others before returning to the usual routine.

4. Holiday Spending Money

Something strange happens with the way people think about spending money on holiday. Some have a specific credit card, travellers’ check, or fanny pack with which to regulate the spending while on holiday, but what no-one thinks about is that whatever notional amount people set aside to spend, whatever they think about their ability to resist – holiday money is always spent before you get on the plane. There is a reaction to the normal constraint of common sense, known as psychological reactance. Basically, people don’t like being told what they must do or cannot do, so when on holiday – there is a degree of abandonment of normal societal rules – people drink too much, sleep with people they wouldn’t normally even talk to, and give very little consideration to how and where they are spending their money. Spending and decisions are taken in a light hearted, unconsidered way because the money in the mind has already gone, and half the fun of a vacation is spending it with abandon.

No-one who really enjoyed a ‘classic vacation’ ever came back and compared actual spend to planned spend in the financial planning worksheet, or the family budget worksheet. This is why, as part of the preparation, the planning of a vacation, it is very useful to have included financial goal setting motivation theory, or rather goal setting smart. By investing in a personal finance online software, it is possible to track and maintain financial goals, and these can and often involve away …

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Financial Services With Flexible Finance Options for Investment Opportunities

Financial Services With Flexible Finance Options for Investment Opportunities

Financial services encompass a broad spectrum of services ranging from financial jobs to investment planning. The services offered by experienced companies profess to boost the earnings of their client’s companies by aiming to get back most of their Return On Investment (ROI). Financial analysts manage the money, transfers and fund switches of hundreds of customers. Many people are quite poor when it comes to managing their money and they look to these professionals, who with their fiscal expertise will secure a safe future for their finances.

People who want to manage their money on a long-term basis approach reputed financial companies, which offer them several finance options to protect their money. Finance options could be in the form of Insurance, Mutual Funds or Wealth Management. While doing business with a finance service company, the customer always looks for more options and banking with the top companies in Ireland will help them with their money. Exceptional customer service, internet banking facilities and award winning products – these are three main things that clients look for in a Financial Services company. The rising demand of personal asset management has risen considerably over the years as people devote more of their time to strengthen their financial base.

People who are looking to save on taxes and create wealth also look for several Finance options. One of them is to make specific investment options; there are certain investments through which the client will be exempt from taxes. They can manage their funds through good financial plans and generate wealth in the same mode.

One major area of converting available liquid cash into a favourable proposition comes in the form of investment in property. When people do not have enough money to buy a property, they approach finance services for loan options. Of all the loans in the world, Investment Property Financing is the toughest of all. It is a risky business and many lending companies are not willing to take the risk. The first reason that most companies expostulate is that the buyer of real estate is not living at the said property. The second reason that goes against Investment Property Financing is that the property value could drop below the loan amount. This causes financial companies to charge high rate of interest for Investment Property Financing and most clients shy away because they are unable to pay it. Most of the time, such property has no resale value.

There are quite a few reputed business and finance portals in Ireland where clients can gauge valuable and updated information of various financial services. It helps them with their stock market and e-commerce. The portals help the client make clever investment choices by placing the most favourable investment strategies in front of them. These Finance companies will track the client’s reports over a set period of time and switch funds to investment plans with better returns. Once the client chooses a company to do business with, he expects the company to be straightforward, reliable and competent. There are several such institutions in Ireland, making the country the most favourable place to do business. The opportunities for starting new businesses in Ireland are quite favourable because investors have instant access to a huge range of funding options. The client’s companies are offered attractive support packages to develop their business and maximize their ROI. Some financial services have trained experts who will turn out to be a big help in making smart investment decisions.…

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Allowing Your Desires

Allowing Your Desires

I have been a student of the Law of attraction since my cousin first handed me a book written by Shakti Gawain, titled Creative Visualisation, when I was 14 years old. I have used it successfully in all areas of my life since then. Sometimes I do need to remind myself to implement the activity of LOA in my life but for the most part I am write on track with creating all of my desires.

One thing I have noticed over time is that, you actually can’t not get there! If you are diligent in being REALLY clear about what you want and take action based on that, then you really can’t go wrong. Unless of course you change your mind, are indecisive or you achieve something better than you originally thought of.

When I look back on my own life I have realised that each step, each decision, each move was getting me toward where I wanted to go. And when I got there, I just kept on desiring and raising the bar higher and higher.

To me, life is not about pondering will I get there? It is more about what can I do to get there. If you desire it enough, you will always reach what you are asking for (or something better). I truly believe that and have so much evidence of it in my own life.

It is astounding when you really take the time to look back over your achievements in your life. All I see is one success after another, even if it didn’t feel like that at the time.

So where are you focused now? What do you desire?…

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Kitchen Remodeling Cost – Why You Shouldn’t Spend More Than You Can Afford

Kitchen Remodeling Cost – Why You Shouldn’t Spend More Than You Can Afford

No doubts about it – the more beautiful and awesome you want your kitchen to look, the more it will cost you to remodel it. If you want the best of the best in terms of kitchen fittings and appliances, it will also cost you a great deal of money. This article looks at a simple way to remodel your kitchen at low cost.

First things first, in life it’s important that we don’t attempt to do more than what we are capable of doing, at a particular point in time. Also, in life there are certain limits that are placed before us, that make it very difficult to surmount. If you know you can’t afford the amount of money required to really remodel your kitchen to your taste, don’t let that get you down. Instead, you should learn to “live and fight another day”. Who knows – some months or years down the line you will be able to afford the best of the best kitchens out there, so it wouldn’t matter.

Meanwhile, until you can afford to do it your way and spend the money you can, you should make do with what can be provided, for the amount of money that you can afford, at the present moment. Talk to the right professionals and they will be able to remodel your kitchen at the price you can afford to spend. Yes, you won’t get the best of the best in terms of costs, but your kitchen can be transformed remarkably, especially if you contact the best people skilled in this.

As more kitchen remodeling experts get on the scene, more of them come up with cheaper alternatives that ensures they get hired. Look for the right one today. The more you search, the more you will find. No doubts about it – you will be able to find one that will work very well with your budget, no matter how low and give you the absolute best remodeling you have seen in a long time.…

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Is a Debt Management Plan a Good Option For Getting Out of Debt?

Is a Debt Management Plan a Good Option For Getting Out of Debt?

One of the most asked questions in finance is: If I’m in debt what options do I have open to me?

In recent years this question has been asked more and more. It is estimated that persoanl debt in the UK has reached over A�1.4 trillion and with food prices and the cost of just about everything increasing more and more people are seeking solutions to their debt problems.

Often, when people have debt problems they will end up taking out more loans to simply repay the amount of debt they have, or worse still using credit cards to pay back debt – which is usually a very expensive way to borrow money.

If you have some form of debt problems, then it is worth considering a real solution. This article will explore some of the options which you will have open to you.

IVA:

An IVA works by settling your debt within a period of time – usually 5 years. The agreement works by paying back as much as possible over this period of time. Anything which is not paid back within the 5 years is written off. Usually creditors would compare the amount that they would get from an IVA with what they’d get from bankruptcy. If they get more from an IVA then they are likely to go for this.

A Debt Management Plan:

A debt management plan differs from an IVA in that it is an informal, flexible agreement. It is not legally binding, meaning creditors are not obliged by law to accept the terms of it. There are many advantages of a debt management plan, including:

– Only pay back what you can afford – no unrealistic payments

– It is a flexible agreement, you can change your payments at any time or leave

– You make just one monthly payment, which is handled by your debt management plan company

– You won’t have to risk equity from your home in order to pay back debt

– Your debt management plan company will negotiate for you with your creditors to try and reduce charges and interest.

For more information on getting a debt management plan and other debt solutions check out a reputable provider.…

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Personal Finance Tips – Some Common Estate Planning Errors to Avoid!

Personal Finance Tips – Some Common Estate Planning Errors to Avoid!

If you are in a position where you feel that you really need to sit down and start doing some estate planning, there is no time like the present. When you get to the point where you think it’s time, you need to understand that estate planning is more than just creating a will. A will is just one part of estate planning. The planning consists of a lot of different things like mutual funds, wills, assets, protecting those you love and much more. Here are a few things to look out for and to avoid when you decide to do your estate planning.

The most important issue and mistake that a lot of people make is the fact that they sometimes wait too long. It’s also a common mistake for a lot of people to think they simply don’t need any kind of estate planning. However, this is not the case. One day everyone is going to be faced with the end of life issues that relate directly to our health and the things we own or have saved. If you wait to long all it does is put far too much stress on your family who is having to try and deal with such issues for you if you’re not able to.

Another common mistake that people make is that they think estate planning is only for people who have a lot of money. This also is not true. Estate planning is for anyone who has any kind of assets. True estate plans are not merely about your wealth they are also about planning for issues that come up at the end of your life. For instance this could include what to do about hospice care or long term care should the this come up.

If you have a will make sure that it’s updated. If you don’t have one, make one up. You need to update your will if there have been any changes in the family like divorce, children being born and other things that might impact the outcome of the will. Failure to do so may cause problems in the end.

A lot of people even if they have an estate plan tend to not give it to anyone so that it can be kept safe until the time comes when it’s needed. So, if you have a lawyer make sure that you give him a copy and if you don’t then make sure that you put it in a safety deposit box and make sure that someone in your family knows where it’s at and that they have access to it.

If you have young children, even if you are not thinking this far ahead and so many people don’t, you need to make sure that you have something that is in writing and considered a legal document that will cover the care of your children. The last thing you need to do is to have your children ending up in foster care because you failed to stipulate who would take care of your children should something happen to you.

If you can afford it, the best thing you can do is have an estate planning attorney on retainer and have him draw up the plan and keep it updated for you.…

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Transitioning From Credit and Interest Expense Payments Into Found Money

Transitioning From Credit and Interest Expense Payments Into Found Money

How much are you paying in credit and interest expense? Did you realize the money you pay for those expenses can be transitioned into a kind of found money for you? Gaining that knowledge can help you put your life under your control, but it will take time and patience. It all starts with understanding your fate is up to you.

People usually notice the credit expense, but interest payments are one of those things that can be overlooked because they tend to become part of the financial landscape.

Have you recently totaled the outgoing interest expense you pay each month?

Interest and credit expense payments are a brake which slows your savings and investing rate.

There is no way to magically convert an interest payment expense into income. But, without increasing income, there are two ways that reducing and eliminating that ongoing additive debt will help improve your financial situation without increasing your income. In practical terms, that can be considered transitioning from debt payments into found money.

Everyone knows as you pay down debt, both the minimum payment and interest payments are reduced. If you pay too little, the interest payments add up, and you can owe increasingly more than when you started.

Some will pay the minimum. Some will pay as much as possible. Others will pay the same as they had been paying. Let’s assume we can only pay what we’ve been paying because it’s all we have available to pay towards this debt, and let’s assume the amount is enough to lower the debt.

Keeping the numbers simple, let’s assume the month 1 payment is $100, with $50 principal, $50 interest. Once that is paid, there is less principal outstanding. The minimum payment usually decreases.

Let’s assume the month 2 payment becomes $98, with $49 principal, $49 interest.

We’re assuming you pay the same $100 as last month. By paying $100, then it’s $49 interest and $51 principal, instead of $49 on the principal and $49 on the interest.

That $2 difference is not earth shattering but even though the principal amount was minimal, a mere $2, there is a second benefit. Since there is less principal outstanding, the interest will be lower for all future months.

So, in effect, you are gaining found money with each payment because your payments go farther. The same monthly payment pays off more and more principal with less and less interest. Best of all, for each payment the savings extend into the future. Your total cost is less. You will pay off the debt more quickly without increasing your income. That is found money number one.

The interest payments were extra payments that were going from you to the creditor. You borrowed the principal, and paid the interest. The extra interest payment dollars over and above the principal dollars you borrowed are now going to you. You could think of those interest payments as found money two.

I don’t know if an accountant or CPA would deem this found money or not. Technically, it was your money all along. You paid one thing, now you transitioned payments from debt to savings. But, I’d argue that technicalities don’t matter. The fact is you were paying the $100 to someone else. Part of that payment was interest to have use of the principal. Without increasing income, and without changing outgoing payments, it’s your money now. In this example, that is saving the $100 that you were not able to save before. Or, perhaps the $100 is used to accelerate the payoff of another debt. No matter what it is called, that helps you.

Paying off interest bearing debt and transitioning from payments to pocketing the difference is one of many steps in getting to a better point in financial life. It all starts with understanding your fate is up to you.…