Do you consistently maintain a budget? Do you know how much money comes in each month and how much goes out? It’s very easy to lose track of your finances. Here are a few tips to help you keep tabs on all those hard-earned Benjamins.
Track Your Spending
You probably have some idea where you spend your money each month, but without accounting for each and every dollar you might find money leaking out of your wallet. Use software tracking tools or an old-fashioned pen and paper to log your expenses. Write down every transaction no matter how big or small it may seem. This is the best way to come up with a full proof budget and the easiest way to see if you are frivolously wasting money each month. You never know what you might discover. Many British consumers are unnecessarily paying for Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). Big banks snuck the details of this insurance into loan and credit card applications and many individuals are currently required to hand over their hard earned money for insurance from which they will never benefit. If you think you might be the victim of this practice you’ll need to file paperwork to reclaim your money and canary claims can help.
After tracking your money you might decide to cook more meals at home and avoid the shopping mall. Some expenses are easier to cut then others. Believe it or not utilities like phone bills, electricity and natural gas should be first on your list to review. Use your loyalty with a cell phone provider to ask for a discount and call your utility providers and ask if there is a cheaper rate for gas or electricity if you lock in for a specified amount of time.
Adjust Your Spending
Most of us have some type of shopping vice. Do you crave designer shoes, love expensive cappuccinos or spend an inordinate amount of time eating out with friends every week? Without properly tracking your expenses you are probably underestimating just how much you spend. Setting a budget doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of all fun. It just means you need to dial back a bit. Cut back your fine dining expenses slowly at first. Eat at home one extra day per week, order one last glass of wine or search for the cheapest entree on the menu. You are more likely to stick with your budget if you don’t take drastic measures.
Ask Your Friends To Keep You Accountable
Some friendships are costly than others. If your friends spend a lot of money every time you are together then you might need to look for more budget conscious individuals to pal around with throughout the week. True friends will understand that you need to stop spending money unnecessarily. Tell them you have a goal to save money and ask them to keep you accountable when you are out shopping or dining. Tell them to stop you if you start spending too much.
Track Unexpected Expenses
Keep an eye on irregular expenses like gifts and repairs. You may think your car doesn’t cost that much money to maintain, but after watching your expenses over a six month period you may realize it’s often in the shop or in need of repairs. Do you tend to overspend on birthday and Christmas gifts? I bet it doesn’t seem like you spend a lot of money in this category, but make certain to track gifts for all of your friends and family members. You may be surprised by how much money is spent.
If you want to solidify your finances, start by tracking your outgoing expenses. You work hard for your money so don’t let it slip away unknowingly. Keep a watchful eye on it and find easy ways to save more each month.
I’m hosting a contest! Hooray! The fine folks at Novica provided me with a gift for one lucky reader of One Frugal Girl.
I’ve worked with Novica a number of times in the past and I am unbelievably excited to host another giveaway for them. Novica’s products are created by talented artisans from around the world. They sell a HUGE range of unique, hand crafted items that you won’t find anywhere else.
Another absolute favorite: fingerless gloves! With two young children in our house I find them warm and practical. It’s a great way to keep my hands cozy while still having access to my fingers for buttoning, zipping, digging fallen snacks out of corners of the car and feeling around for sippy cups lost behind the passenger seat. Seriously, why did I just learn about these?
Of course their selection of women’s gifts are quite extensive. Are you looking for something special for your mom, sister or sister-in-law. I bet you can find a unique gift on Novica.
Now for the fun part. To enter the contest simply use the widget below.
Are you looking for a new academic, research or scholarly position? Have you been asked to present a Curriculum Vitae as a means for your potential employer to learn more about you? Curriculum Vitae’s or CVs as they are known contain all of the information included in a resume and so much more.
A CV provides an individual with the opportunity to showcase their education and areas of expertise. While a resume is typically just one page in length a CV can range from two to ten pages. The longer you work the longer your CV will become. Every time you publish a paper, contribute to a scientific journal or receive an award you should add it to your CV.
While no two CVs are exactly alike, (there is not one standard format for them), they all need to provide an accurate history of your work experience. Here are the key elements that should be included.
Who Are You
This includes the basics. name, address, phone number and email. A CV may also contain a photo and a brief bio aimed at capturing your future employer’s attention.
History and Accomplishments
Make certain to include your training, degrees and all relevant work experience. Include items such as field experience, leadership experience and even volunteer work that is applicable to your job.
This includes the activities you participate in when you aren’t at work. What do you like to do in your free time? Ask yourself that question before filling out this section of the CV and make certain to add why you like to do it. Also include how these activities might relate to your job. If you have any leadership responsibilities add those here too.
Skills & Tools
If you have specialized skills such as fluency in another language or experience in computer programming make certain to include those on your CV. List any specific software packages that use on a day-to-day basis. Particularly those that are relevant to the position you hold.
Honors & Awards
In this section you want to list any awards you’ve won. If you have been recognized in a special way for your hard work make certain to make note of it here. You can include fellowships, patents, grants and scholarships in this section too.
If you’ve written any papers, articles or books then pat yourself on the back and highlight your accomplishments. Provide a description of your completed work as well as any time you’ve spoken at conferences, panels or symposiums.
Once you gather all of this relevant information you’ll need to format it in a way that is easy to read and understand. Remember that there is a lot of information in a CV. You’ll want to grab your employer’s attention quickly. They won’t read to page ten of your document if they aren’t wowed on the first page.
Since there isn’t a standard CV template it can feel quite confusing and difficult to decide where things should be placed and how the information should be separated out. You can write the CV yourself or use professional cv services.
If this is the first time you’ve ever created a CV you might want to let a professional create one for you. Remember this is your employer’s first glance at your skills and abilities. You don’t want years of hard work to be ignored due to a poorly written CV.
If you want to land that dream job consider a professionally written CV. It will help get you noticed and hopefully help your career progress in the right direction.
In many aspects of business, you automatically recognize the importance of speed. It often translates into greater productivity and happier customers. Despite this concentration on speed in many areas, how often have you considered the impact faster payments would have on your business, especially in the area of relationships with others?
Although we have made many advances in business, many people still rely on the old method of sending checks through the postal service. Even those businesses that have moved into electronic payments utilize well-known systems that may require several days for payments to reach their destination. This can be a source of frustration for a world that has learned to expect things almost immediately. It is definitely time to consider how your business relations might be enhanced by utilizing software that makes payments faster.
Impact on Business to Business Relationships
Take a minute to consider what happens when another business takes a long time to pay you. Maybe you provided them with merchandise. That merchandise required you to purchase materials for its construction, pay employees to make the product, and pay shippers to transport the product to the buyer. You also need to pay someone to create an invoice, record the transaction and eventually process the payment. As you wait for the payment, you have to start all over again with other customers.
Seeing that few businesses are able to keep spending without receiving money, you rely on that payment to help meet expenses. If the payment is delayed, it can cause hardship. If more than one customer delays, that hardship grows. You also become angry, frustrated and eventually distrustful of the client.
Other businesses you deal with have that same need. The time it takes for your payment to reach them is a time spent working with less money than they are relying upon. If your payment takes too long, the same feelings of anger and distrust start to rise in the ones who run that business. Consider, however, if they could count on your payment almost immediately. You are someone they want to work with regularly. You become a preferred business to them. This good feeling grows to the point where you can count on your creditors to be there for you should a time come when things do happen to go wrong.
Your employees work hard to help keep your business running smoothly. It is safe to say that if they are working, the money they earn is needed to pay bills and feed their families. When they reach payday, they don’t want to have to wait to get their money. If this happens too often, they may feel it necessary to seek work elsewhere so they can depend upon a certain amount of cash coming in on a particular day. Not only this, but you’re going to be creating numerous legal issues.
With specialized faster payments software, you can take care of your payments within hours. There is no longer the need to try and calm irritated payees as they can have their money the same day. This builds trust and confidence in you and your business. Utilizing software will also help you to avoid late fees, irritated employees and unhappy business associates.
Faster payment software often works so well with your current computer system that you will feel like it has always been part of your business. The learning curve is minimal and the cost low. You have the ability to make payments around the clock and no longer have to wait for a bank or other financial institution to open. You can even make payments while you are on vacation, should the need arise.
Consider the trust and goodwill this will initiate. Not only will your reputation as an honest and dependable business person become known, the goodwill that is a side-effect will last a lifetime.
If you want to attain money and build wealth you must learn to live beneath your means. Living beneath your means take more than desire; you need experience and knowledge to make it happen. Lots of people think they can do it, but don’t have the skills necessary to get started. If you follow these easy strategies you can live beneath your means and still enjoy your life.
The first skill takes a bit of time. You’ll need to habitually track your spending and saving. Yes, we’re talking about budgeting. It doesn’t matter if you use Mint or you have a spreadsheet on your computer – you just need to know where your money is going and know how to keep your spending within specific limits. Do you fear opening up your checking account to check your balance? You can easily work towards your goal so you no longer live in fear. Start tracking your money today. You might discover leaks in your finances that you didn’t even know about. Many British consumers discovered they were paying for Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) after accidentally signing up for it on their loan applications. The PPI Compensation Calculator can show you how much you could get back if you were ensnared by the same scheme. Do the hard work of making a budget and sticking to it. After a couple of months, you’ll be much better off.
Another way you can learn to live beneath your means is to become more self-reliant and independent. If you’re craving pizza, it’s time to make some dough! If the Chevy needs an old change, maybe you should pull the tools out of the basement! By increasing your skill set, you can stop overpaying for services that you can successfully complete yourself. It’s not bad to pay others to do things for you, but it is expensive. If you want to become frugal, you’ve got to work to attain these skills.
Finally, if you really want to save money, then consider making more drastic changes. This might include moving to a cheaper city, moving to a smaller, less expensive home, or attaining a new job that pays a higher salary. While these are not easy changes and may not be right for everyone they will certainly help you save in the long run. Don’t be afraid. Open your mind to new possibilities that will redirect your money and get you back on the right financial track.
Living beneath your means is an important way to adjust your financial habits. If you want to build wealth you need to consider your options and put in a little work.
In the world of personal finance, there are basically two camps: the anti-debt camp and the pro-debt camp. The anti-debt camp believes that all debt is bad. Period. No exceptions. Pay in cash or go without. The pro-debt camp believes that carrying some debt is a good thing and can be beneficial later on. What these warring camps don’t seem to realize is that each strategy works, depending on which life stage of life your in.
The simple fact is that very few of us are able to save up enough money to pay cash for everything. The cost of home ownership, for example, would be unattainable for everybody who is not already in the top tax bracket. And if you want to be able to finance a home or start your own business, you need to prove that you can handle debt responsibly. To do this you need to build your credit.
There are a lot of great ways to build your credit and, by extension, improve your personal finance situation. Here are some of our favorites.
Avoid PayDay Loans
Seriously. Payday loans are a trap that is designed to keep you indebted to the lender for as long as possible. If you find yourself in an emergency situation and don’t have cash to cover it, the lure of the payday lender can be incredibly tempting. Taking out a payday loan will just wreck your current financial situation, which, in turn, will wreck your credit as you take out one loan to pay off another, etc.
Here is the good news. Many financiers have gotten hip to the fact that borrowers view payday loans as predatory mistakes best avoided and have been working to create alternatives to payday loans. These are personal loans that you can pay back in installments over a few months or even a year. They can help you out in a pinch without miring you in interest rates three figures deep. If you’re facing an emergency, look for these lenders.
If you’re new to credit or need to rebuild your credit, one of the best ways to do this is with a secured credit card that you get through your bank. These are lines of credit that you essentially finance for yourself. You put some money down and that amount becomes your credit limit. If you default on the card you lose that down payment. If, however, you pay off your purchases quickly and on time, eventually that card may be turned into an unsecured loan with a higher limit.
A good rule of thumb is to try to keep your credit balance under 60 percent of your limit. For example, if your credit limit is $900, don’t allow the balance to ever go over $600. Credit bureaus factor in your used/available credit ratio when they figure out your score. You always want to have as much credit available.
Taking out a small personal loan is another good way to build credit and prove that you can handle debt responsibly. These loans usually start at a few thousand dollars so they won’t necessarily buy you something super extravagant, but they are a great way to consolidate existing debts and bills to make them easier to manage. This is probably the most popular reason people take out personal loans. You can use your loan for pretty much whatever you want, just make sure that you will be able to pay it off within the contracted length of time (usually 3-5 years). Don’t assume you’ll make more money in the future. Base your loan amount on what you earn right now.
There is a new form of credit building/rebuilding called the credit building loan. Essentially what these loans are, are savings accounts. You pay a specific amount into the account every month and then at the end of the account’s term, you get all that money in a single lump. As you make these payments toward your goal, the payments get reported to the credit bureaus. This allows you to build up a positive repayment history which can have a huge impact on your credit score. This tool is especially helpful for people who have already tanked their credit and need to rebuild.
The basic truth is this: if you want lenders to trust you, you need to prove that you can handle debt. The only way to prove that you can handle debt is to carry some debt and pay it off responsibly. Without this history of responsibility, you’ll be stuck simply saving over and over again as you work toward your goals. Saving is good, but it shouldn’t be your only resource.
As a beginner in online trading, you have a plethora of trading options to utilize. While some people opt for short term trading options, others have a goal of making huge profits by taking advantage of long term trading strategies.
Like any life endeavor, each type of trading option has its own pros and cons and the strategy/option you opt for depends on several factors, including the funds available, research methodologies you plan to use, and the willingness to take and accept certain risks. Without much ado, here is an overview of a few trading options that CMC Markets recommend for beginners:
This is primarily a short term trading strategy which involves buying and selling securities on the same day. In the past, this trading option was mainly left to professionals. In the recent years, owing to advancement in technology and the emergence of a variety of online trading platforms, even novice traders can trade these types of securities profitably.
So if you are just starting to get your feet wet by investing small amounts in a single day, this is the trading option that suits you. The experience that you will gain from buying and selling every single day will be very useful in future when you decide to trader with larger sums of money.
Unlike day trading, this is long term trading where you buy and hold securities for longer durations—it involves keeping securities for several days, weeks, or even months. The decision to trade—buy or sell securities—is normally shaped by extensive research on market trends. As a trader, you will be buying at the beginning of a trend and selling when the trend reaches its peak.
This trading option is suitable for traders with access to accurate facts and who can quickly identify an emerging trend. Most traders who prefer this trading option often take action when a trend starts to emerge or gather moment and sell when a trend reaches or is at its peak. So it’s important to have accurate data to be in a better position to predict when to sell or buy.
This is a type of trading that takes advantage of the swings in security prices that takes place at certain stages of a particular trend period. Depending on the data and research done for every security, traders who opt for this option strive to predict highs and lows during a trend. Unlike day trading, this trading option involves keeping trades for longer duration (more than a day) to maximise your gains when a predicted trend gains momentum.
By and large, swing trading majorly depends on your judgment and accuracy of the research and data that you base your decision on. If you can carry meticulous research and analyse market data accurately, this trading option is a potentially lucrative opportunity to profit from the volatility that occurs at different stages of a market trend.
This trading method involves taking advantage of the gaps that exist as result of bidding and asking spreads as well as order flows. You profit by selling securities at asking prices that are higher than the buying price or spread of the security in question. Because it is a short term trading strategy, it reduces the risks that you take as a trader. Generally, this type of trade involves smaller amounts and subsequently small profits per trade.
Online CFD trading
CFD’s allow you to speculate the price movements or changes of different types of stocks in the market. When trading CFD products, you simply buy the right to speculate on the market price changes of a stock but you don’t own the stock. Although there are high risks involved in CFD trading, the results are worth the risk.
Today, there are many trading options that you can exploit. The increased access to internet and the availability of a variety of trading platforms makes it easier for both experts and beginners to start trading from any location and at any time of the day. Provided that you identify the trading option that suits your lifestyle and the benefits that you stand to gain, you can start investing right away.
If you are don’t like the idea of taking risks but still want to invest, you should know that risk-free investments are as non-existent as safe high-risk investments. Every investment comes with risk. It’s a question of just how risky it is. If you fear the outcome investigate low-risk investment options.
Can you Earn Money From Low-Risk Investments?
One of the most important benefits of low-risk investments is that the losses are typically not as significant as high-risk investment. Keeping your money in a low interest bank account will not yield as much as a low-risk investment. While low-risk investment is not going to fetch you a fortune, you will not typically lose yours either.
Here are some of the best low-risk investment options:
- Certificates of deposits
- Money market funds
- Government funds
Some people believe in using loans as a means to attain money for investments. To do this you must make certain that you can earn a higher rate of return then the interest on your loan. You also need to ensure that the bad credit loan term does not end before the term of your investment.
How To Maximize Your Benefits
Beginners and long time investors can make mistakes. Don’t learn the hard way. Look for low risk investments that are safe and trustworthy.
1) Know Your Tolerance For Risk
A simply online survey can assess your tolerance for risk. Tolerance refers to your ability to withstand a particular level of loss. How comfortable are you losing money when the market takes dips? Would you prefer a smaller rate of return, but a nearly guaranteed return on your investment?
Risk tolerance depends on the following:
- Level of income or financial stability
- Prospects of growth in monthly income
- Financial demands, if any, in the near future
- Financial goals
2) Importance of Long Term Goals
As an investor you must exhibit patience. Markets will rise and fall and your investments will be impacted both positively and negatively. Whichever way you are impacted it is best to hold on to the investment for the long term.
3) Bond With The Best Bonds
Bonds are always a recommended part of an investment portfolio. Your choice of bond depends on your needs. These bonds are relatively safe and won’t make you lose much sleep.
- Treasury Bonds: Treasury bonds have minimal returns, but you have very little to worry about when holding them. An added advantage is that the interest you receive from treasury bonds are exempt from income tax.
- Savings Bonds: If you can keep your hands off your money for at least a year consider investing in savings bonds. Savings bonds have a fixed interest rate so you have a clear picture of how much money you will earn when the term ends. The downside to this investment is losing out on bigger returns if the interest rate rises while you are holding on to them.
As the famous saying goes “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Make certain to diversify your investments. This is one of the best and easiest ways to minimize risk. Diversification is one of the must-learn and must-follow rules of investment. Here is how to diversify your investment.
- Rather than investing in one company consider investing in mutual funds. If you want to invest in individual stocks do not own too much of one.
- Investing in various sectors help minimize risk of loss. If you invest only in one sector and it suffers a crisis, your financial status may suffer.
- One of the best ways to diversify is to have bonds, stocks, fixed assets and cash in your investment portfolio. Bonds can provide regular income while stocks can rise in value.
While diversifying brings in benefits, if you plan on a low risk investment, you need to take into account the trading fees you may be charged for each investment.
5) Know When to Fold
Don’t hold investments forever. If you receive a comfortable gain consider selling while the stock is high. Sometimes when you hold too long you watch the value rise and then fall back down. When that happens your profits go down with it. Keep an eye on your investments and know when the stock is falling. Don’t wait for it to bottom out hoping that it will eventually climb higher again.
The market has its ups and downs. There may come times when you are happy you sold a stock for a profit and other times where you will watch it rise after you sold it.
Don’t try to time the market. Invest small amounts of money repeatedly over a long period of time. That is the best strategy of all.
What makes a good investor? Is it a massive portfolio? We don’t think so. Too many opened trading positions can lead to a total failure. Is it big initial capital? Of course not! There is something else that is common to all successful XTrade Europe online traders; the ability to find great investing opportunities in almost every situation. This is the difference between great and average investors.
Finding New Opportunities
So, the first thing that every online trader should do is to sharpen this skill of finding new opportunities at different paces, regardless of whether we talk about the presidential elections, oil policy or even sport games. The Olympic Games in Rio are the perfect example. Almost all big investors and XTrade Europe speculators are there (not physically, of course). After all, what would be a better business opportunity than the biggest sport event on the planet?
Here is one example. Let’s look at what happens with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) index during the Olympics. Fortunately, we can use research published by Bespoke Investment Group to find out. What did this research show? It showed that DJIA just “loves” the Olympics! From the 1900 to present days, the rate of return of the DJIA was approximately four percent during Games, which is fantastic.
Huge Investments Mean More Opportunities
Of course, all these countries had to spend billions for stadiums, hotels, infrastructure, but these investments brought them a big return. All these countries, especially cities, literately exploded before and after the Games. Why do countries compete to be hosts to world’s sportsmen and national teams? It is not because they like sports more than anything else. It is not because they want to show their great hospitality or rich culture. It is because of the money. Yes, the money is the energy that moves things forward. Just visit some of these cities and you will see the “remains” of the Olympic Games at every corner. And of course, where there is a chance to earn, investors from XTrade Europe and other big groups will be there to make a profit.
After this, we can be more than sure that the Olympics have a great effect on the economy, especially on the economy of the hosted countries. Of course, every rule has exceptions. In this case, the exemption is the Olympics held in Sidney (2008), where the market went down almost two percent. This “catastrophe” was not caused by the Games, but by a huge mortgage crisis that was active at that time.
Here is the advice that every XTrade Europe investor should follow if he or she wants to remain successful in this business: Don’t observe the Olympic Games just as ordinary sport competition, but also as a great business opportunity. Economies of the hosted countries grow almost without exception during this period. Use this information to improve your trading situation. All good investors are already in their positions, waiting with their eyes wide open. What is your strategy? Do you have one at all? If not, make sure you have one before next Olympic Games. Four years will pass quickly.
Book Description for Bossy Flossy:
Flossy is the bossiest girl around. She’s bossy at home and she’s bossy in school. She’s bossy to her friends and she’s bossy to her cat. Sometimes she’s even bossy to her teacher! Flossy doesn’t understand why no one will listen to her. One day, Flossy meets Edward, a boy who may be just as bossy as she is. Has Flossy finally met her match?
Buy the Book:
My four-year-old son and I read this book one afternoon cuddled up on the living room couch. My son is not bossy or rude, but he really enjoyed how the characters misbehaved in this book. In fact, he asked me to read it to him repeatedly. The main character in the book Bossy Flossy is quite rude to everyone she knows. She tells her mother, teacher and friends what to do and how to act and feels quite disgruntled when they fail to heed her words. In fact, she is a bit flippant when she is punished for bossing others around. My son never behaves in this manner, so I was surprised by how much he enjoyed reading about characters that boss each other around.
This might be a good book for a child who is bossy, but I’m not sure what message it might give to a child who is not. I suppose it is a good way to introduce the subject to him in case he meets a friend in school or on the playground who is acting similarly.
If you have a child with behavioral issues, most specifically one that is bossy, then this book might be a perfect way to create an open forum to discuss these problems. I can imagine talking about the characters, their actions and ultimately how they come together to change their behaviors. In the end, there are two bossy characters, which would also teach children that they are not alone in their actions and ultimately these two characters need each other to change their ways.
Paulette Bogan admits she was bossy as a child. She is the author and illustrator ofVirgil & Owen, which was chosen as one of Bank Street Best Children’s books of the Year 2016, Virgil & Owen Stick Together, which won a Mom’s Choice Award Gold Medal for Picture Books, and Lulu The Big Little Chick, which won a Children’s Choice Book Award. She lives in New York City with her husband, three daughters, and two dogs. They ALL think she is STILL bossy. But they’ve never told her to go to her room!