Setting Up a Budget for a Peaceful Holiday Season

Here’s what most consumers do when it comes to shopping for the holidays: they throw their budgets out the window, spend as much money as possible, and then wonder why things are so chaotic in January! It might sound silly to start thinking about a refined budget now, but if you start now you’ll avoid disaster later. One of the best things that you can do when it comes to meeting your financial goals is to be consistent in everything that you do. If you’re the type of person that has a budget but lets it drift away during this time of year, this article is exactly what you need to read.

What does it meant o have a refined budget? To us, it means to have a budget that moves with you during the holiday season, rather than just staying locked in place. A flexible budget is great for all seasons, but the holiday season definitely proves why the budget flexibility is necessary. You’ll see a lot of great deals that you just want to scoop up. It’s a time for giving and receiving, and you want to be known as a generous person. There are obvious emotional triggers involved when we start talking about the holidays. For people with children, you have to realize that this is also the type of year when you’re going to be bombarded with tons of advertisements about this toy or that electronic gadget that everyone has to have. Reining in your spending before the season starts will avoid those pesky January pressures.

Setting Up a Budget

So, where do we begin?

We start with family. Knowing your family’s traditions like the back of your hand is important. If you haven’t put all of your upcoming events on a calendar, this is your first step. One of the biggest reasons why some things become financial emergencies is simply because we just forget about it altogether. That’s understandable, as we’re all dealing with a lot more things going on than in the past. It’s easy to let something slip off the radar, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t cost you dearly in the long run. The way to get around this is to put all of the important events that you can think of on a calendar. You need to make this calendar something that other family members can accessible. While you’re probably great at juggling all of your responsibilities, there’s no reason why you should have to do that all by yourself. Let other family members add their events upfront, so everyone knows what’s going on at all times.

From here, you want to look at the specific events that you have planned. For example, are you planning to do a Christmas dinner? Do you have American family members that would love to have a Thanksgiving dinner when they come visit you? If so, these are things that you need to think about at least a month in advance. How many people will come to your party? What will you serve? Are there are special dietary needs or restrictions that you’ll need to honor? All of these things change the total amount that you’ll have to spend on the event. For something like Christmas, it’s best to get an idea of how you’re going to spend money on. Continue reading

3 Quick Points About the Self Invested Personal Pension

Trying to figure out your best path for a pension isn’t easy. With retirement on your mind, you might feel that all of the products are equal, because you’re bound to be disappointed. That’s not the case at all. We have looked at plenty of different options for our fellow money-minded people, and we wanted to cover this option as well.

The truth is that a self invested personal pension is a great choice when you really want to make sure that you control the flow of money around you. If you’ve already started alternative savings paths, this is just one more link in that chain.

The SIPP — what it’s abbreviated as more often than not — is designed to give you choices. But if you’re still on the fence, here are some quick points that you need to know.

1. Invest, Not Just Save

If you want to have a better chance of your money staying with your retirement needs, then going with investments is a good idea. Of course, it has to be said: the value of your investments can be less than what you paid in. However, it’s going to put you in a better position than watching inflation eat up your money through savings. Costs rise every single year, and you have to make sure that you can still enjoy the quality of life you’ve managed to build for yourself. A SIPP will have plenty of investments to choose from. You can look at what’s available and then do extra research from there.

Self Invested Personal Pension

Self Invested Personal Pension

2. Allows You to Skip Going for an Annuity

Normally, people pay into a pension and then have it converted into an annuity by an insurance company. That’s the traditional way of building a pension, but that might not be the right pension plan for you. If you have been leery about annuities lately, you’re not the only one. A SIPP gives you more powerful options than an annuity. You can always move a SIPP around and change things. Once you get an annuity, that’s it.

3. Tax Relief is Possible

If you’re a basic-rate tax payer, there’s a 20% relief on all of your pension payments. If you go with a reputable company for your SIPP, they will most likely just claim the tax relief for you and automatically send the additional savings to your plan.

Choosing the right company to handle your pension needs is far more time consuming than reading one general guide. Go through all of your options, think it through and then call a few companies. Be completely transparent about what you want to accomplish, and they will take it from there.

Bad Credit Got You Down – Cheer Up!

Bad credit is something that affects all of us at least some of the time. Maybe you got behind because you had a death in the family. Maybe you’ve found that you got laid off from work. Sooner or later, life is going to move in a very unexpected and uncertain way, leaving you scrambling. Is that a time where we panic? Not a tall.

It’s time to cheer up about bad credit. After all, you can’t fix anything when you’re stressed out and tired. You can’t fix anything when you feel like a failure. A lot of people get angry about things that are definitely outside their control. The question is simple: why bother getting mad? The reality is that you can’t get worked up over something unless you’re prepared to fix it.

Bad Credit

There are a lot of people in your shoes, and a lot of great people at that. Bad credit doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person, nor are you someone that’s always going to be stuck with bad credit. Think about the big bright world out there where you can do just about anything that you put your mind to.

First and foremost, have you talked to your creditors? Some people like to hide from the people that they owe, but this is not a good idea at all. You’re much better off making sure that you have talked to your creditors and worked things out. Some people disagree, saying that it’s much better to just hide and hope that the creditors will go away. Folks, in the digital era, your debt isn’t just going to go away. You need to address the debt. You need to get use dot the debt. You need to realize that until you solve it, it’s going to continue being a problem. Your creditors want their money, and they are so used to people trying to run that it’s highly likely that they’ll work for you.

When I first found myself in debt, I reached out to all of my creditors. I let them know that I was made redundant, and that I would be slow in paying them. They offered to waive several months of payments in order to help me get on my feet. I gave them a bank draft, and let them know exactly how much to take. They set up a new agreement, and it helped me restore my credit… when I was ready to go back to having credit. I found that secured credit cards were willing to take a chance on me. These aren’t going to be cards with super high limits, but that’s okay — you don’t need a super high limit right now. What you really need is someone that’s going to work with you slowly. If you do decide to get back in the credit saddle, you need to understand that it’s very important that you pay your bills on time from here on out. That’s going to show the lenders at large that you really are trying to turn over a new leaf.

Just because you have bad credit today doesn’t mean that you’re going to have bad credit forever. It’s really a temporary state of mind that means that you have to dig down, thing about the future, and try to plan ahead as much as you can. The more that you worry and stress, the less likely that you’re going to get out of debt. Indeed, when we’re stressed out, we can’t see a way out. Compare that to being able to do anything that you put your mind to. You will truly see the difference in good time.

Budgeting for Holiday Fun Doesn’t Have to be Painful

Christmas is right around the corner. You might have figured out what you’re going to get the children, but have you thought about how you’re going to pay for all of the events going on? There’s always a dinner party to go to, and there’s always something else that needs to be looked at. It can be really hard to get where you want to go during the holiday season, because transportation costs go up. It might sound silly to think about all of these things before the holidays have even gotten here but you really do need to look at it in closer detail than what you may have in the past.

The reality is that the holidays are a time where people tend to overspend. It isn’t that they mean to, honestly — they just get a little caught up in how to look the part for every holiday. The truth is that you don’t have to overspend. If you see that you’re going to, it would be best to set everything out in cash. This would give you a visual reminder of exactly how much you have.


It can be hard to get through so many parties and dinners without breaking the bank, but have you considered just setting hard limits and letting everyone know? They might have a hard time with it in the beginning, but they will get used to it over time. Your children will be better off, because you won’t be stressed out. Believe it or not, your children can tell when you’re stressed over finances. They tend to internalize it, thinking that they are the reason why you’re stressed out. Instead of letting the cycle continue, why not just set healthy boundaries in the beginning?

The holiday season is a time for food, family, and a little entertainment. There’s no need to go overboard to try to keep up with society’s expectations. If you’re not feeling up to all of the parties and all of the entertainment, why not just decline? You can have a nice night with your family instead. Continue reading

An In-depth Analysis Of A Personal Loan And What It Entails

A personal loan is a short term loan granted to individual consumers for personal, household and family use. They are not given for any sort of commercial or business use, and can be used for a variety of personal needs. It can cover medical expenses, travel or vacation expenses, household expenses, education expenses, marriage expenses and any reasonable personal expenses. Mortgage loans are sometimes classified as personal, although personal loans are advanced for shorter periods than mortgage – usually five years and below. The loan has gained popularity among many borrowers since they can easily sort their financial needs through the cash advance.

Personal Loan

The amount of loan that can be granted to an individual differs in size, terms and conditions and dimensions. However, personal loan can be broadly categorized into two types; secured and unsecured personal loans. Unsecured or signature loans are granted without any collateral security attached. The lender relies on the credit history of the borrower and his ability to repay from his income. They rely on the fact that the borrower will make good of his promise to repay the loan within the stipulated time. Because of the high level of risks involved with the advancement of this loan, the lenders tend to charge high interest rates. This is to cover the risks and encourage the borrower to repay back faster before the interest accumulates to larger amounts. In case a borrower defaults in payment, the lender may withdraw the loan agreement and file a legal suit against the borrower. Continue reading

Debt Consolidation Non Profit

Dealing with mounting debt may be a bit too much to handle, especially for those who are just starting to build a solid credit history for themselves. However, the ease by which you can hand over that piece of plastic to the cashier to make purchases is too conveniently tempting, which is why a lot of people fall into that trap. This means that they are taking on more debt than what their salaries allow them to pay. Remember that your credit card bills should not take up a huge chunk out of your pay check; you have other living expenses to deal with.

But what if you make one purchase after another and you find yourself dealing with a mountain of debt? What if there is a financial emergency which caused you to dip into your savings, leaving you with a significant debt with several creditors? Or maybe you just made one bad decision after another which caused a domino effect on your finances? No matter which of these situations apply to you, there are several solutions that you can consider including debt consolidation. In the following section, we will take a look at everything that you need to know about debt consolidation from non-profit companies in particular.

FAQ About Debt Consolidation Non-Profit Companies

If you are looking at debt consolidation non-profit as a viable way out of your financial worries, here are a few basics that you need to learn about it:

debt consolidation from non-profit companies

What is debt consolidation in the first place?
As the name implies, debt consolidation involves a series of steps taken to consolidate your debts with more than one creditor. This can either be through a court order or through your own initiative. Usually, a third party service in the form of a debt management company will work to analyze your debts. The first step is to compile a list of all your creditors then determine how much is owed to each one. Once the debt amount is totalled, your other living expenses, rent or mortgage payments and other financial variables will be considered. The final step is to negotiate with each creditor a lower monthly payment and interest rate if possible, so that the debtor can have an easier time of paying the debts off. Continue reading

Don’t Wait Forever to Join the Fight Against PPI

Is there still a PPI debate going on? You would think with all of the media that covered the PPI scandal that there wouldn’t be any nee dot chase people to file for their PPI money back.

Unfortunately, there are still plenty of people that haven’t filed at all. Payment protection insurance was a scam in so many ways. One, the people were often not told about it, so it was bundled into whatever loan they were paying. The companies figured that since people have to make loan payments anyway, they might as well just go ahead and make loan payments with the PPI money attached. That’s the wrong attitude to have, but there you go. There’s nothing wrong with going for credit products. I’m not even trying to tell you to just drop out of the system and be a cash only customer. There are perils to using all cash as well, considering the reality that you’re going to need credit in order to get a house in most cases. Now then, you have to think about fighting back. Trying to ignore the need to fight back just doesn’t make sense at all.

As long as you’re focused, you can make some pretty big things happen. As long as you’re dedicated, there’s nothing in the world that you can’t do. I think that you are better served by a PPI company personally, as they will handle all of the tough stuff for you.

Fight Against PPI

Need to talk to your creditors? They can do that for you. Need to get copies of documents? They can do that for you. Need to get into the process without losing your cool? Again, they can do that for you.

That’s the biggest benefit to the use of a PPI company to fight for your claim. They are taking almost all of the stress off your back. Once you figure out what company you want to use, you basically have free reign to get things done. You don’t have to worry or stress about all of the little things. It’s just a matter of moving forward in the right direction. Continue reading

Budgeting Made Easy

There is no one that will argue that having a budget and following it isn’t a very good thing. Good personal financial health is most easily achieved by having a realistic budget and sticking to it. There are other articles available on this site about how to establish a realistic budget if you need help on that front.

People know that budgets are important, yet many people have a hard time sticking to one and even more find it hard to sit down and set one in the first place. The biggest reasons for this are uncertainty of how to get started and difficulty of keeping track of your budget. This doesn’t have to be the case.

BudgetingIf you are reasonably skilled at using a computer there are literally dozens of different programs and resource available to help you in your budgeting. Visit a computer store and ask them what their most popular personal finance software is, read magazine articles, watch finance experts on TV or look at online merchants websites to see what they recommend. Find a software program which is easy to use and suits your needs. The programs are quite reasonably priced.

Once you have a program installed and you have learned how to use it, budgeting will be a breeze. The program will help you set up a budget, track your expenditures and tell you how you are doing each month. It can even give you your information in graphical form if that makes it easy for you. It will take you very little time each month and help you tremendously.

If you don’t have a computer or the skills to use one, you can still effectively and easily use a budget. Chances are that your expenditures aren’t incredibly complicated (you are just one person or a family, not a major corporation), so you can keep track of them without fancy software. The simplest and easiest way to do this is with a notebook. Buy a plain, lined notebook at the stationary store. Write Budget on the front of it in big letters. On the first page write down the budget you have set up. Have a separate page for each month. Use that page to record your income for that month and all the money you spend that month, too. At the end of the month (and even at times during the month to see where you are at) add up what you have spent to see how you are doing.

Budgeting doesn’t have to be complicated and you will be surprised how helpful it will be for you.

How To Choose an Online Broker

You are reading this because you are interesting in investing. Congratulations on taking the first step toward investing. Choosing a broker does not have to be a tough decision to make. You simply have to think about your objectives and the right broker will pop into your head. It’s that easy.

Know how much you’ll invest.

To aid you in choosing the right broker, you must first know how much you plan on investing. Will you be investing £500, £1,000, £5000, or £50,000? You must know this because some brokers require a minimum initial deposit. Some require a minimum of £2,000. Others require a minimum of $500. And some don’t have a minimum, or simply accept a smaller amount to open up an IRA. Your very first step is to decide how much of your money you will plan on investing.

What will you invest in?

What do you plan on investing in? Do you plan on buying stocks? You also have a choice in purchasing mutual funds, options, bonds or even certificates of deposits (CDs). All online brokers are built differently. They won’t all offer all these options. You have to make sure that the broker you choose has what you want to buy. The last thing you would want is to end up with a broker that only offers bonds when you rigorously plan on investing in stocks.

Choose an Online BrokerCompare fees and services.

Before you choose a broker, find out what they charge in commissions and fees. Each broker sets their own fees and the difference can be quite substantial. Make sure that you know the commission fees for Market orders and Limit orders. On top of commission fees, also compare the maintenance and transfer fees.

Don’t just compare by how much the brokers charge. You should also check out if they have a lot more to offer. Find out if they have phone trades. Does the broker’s site have a place where you can do research on your investments? What about local offices? Do they offer the peace and comfort of actually sitting down and talking with a real person?

Do the paper work and fund your account.

Once you have reviewed the different brokers, it is time to fill out the paper work and fund your account. Almost all of the online brokers allow you to sign up electronically and also fund your account electronically. By signing up online and funding your account electronically, you significantly reduce the amount of time before you are allowed to trade. If time is of no importance or you are afraid of doing online checks, you can simple print out the paper work and mail it along with your check. If you already had a brokerage account, you can simply transfer your funds from the old broker to the new.

Choosing a broker does not have to be a cumbersome task. It’s really as easy as 1-2-3. Simply know how much you want to invest, know where you will invest, compare fees, and submit the paper work. It’s that easy. Now that everything is set up, it’s time for you to start investing. Good luck.