Smart Ways to Budget: Five Smartphone Finance Apps

Open smartphone with application iconsWondering what other use your smartphone has aside from taking photos and playing Flappy Bird? Here’s what: budgeting apps. These apps can really help you budget and spend your money wisely, and it all fits in your pocket!

iReconcile - $1.99

iReconcile keeps true to its motto “keep your finance in check”. This app acts as a modern checkbook register wherein you can monitor and manage daily financial transactions. Unlike online bank accounts which are often delayed in updating your actual balance, iReconcile computes and displays your actual balance based on the transactions you input. Read More

Penny-Wise Celebrities You Can Learn From

pennywiseNot all celebrities who bask in the limelight and all that glamour senselessly throw money on whims. The celebrities in this article may be earning a million bucks, but they still do not forget what it was like to be financially lacking. So they save up every penny they can through wise money-saving rules.

Tyra Banks

This fabulous supermodel and savvy businesswoman is one of the most frugal celebrities known today despite her staggering net worth of $75 million. She said on an interview with The New York Times that she has always been thrifty and absolutely committed to saving. Read More

Saving in the Long Term by Wise Choices

There are generally three types of ways to save, one of which I feel doesn’t get nearly the same amount of attention as the other two. You’re probably already confused as the third type barely ever gets mentioned in any articles, books, or TV shows about saving, as opposed to the two more common ones – saving by spending less on everyday items, and saving by skipping the more expensive items.

While the first method is generally a smart one (with tips such as skipping on eating out, taking the bike instead of the car, buying a slightly cheaper brand of pasta), the second tip can often turn out to be disastrously wrong. When we skip entirely on more expensive products, saving suddenly becomes a massive hassle, and there’s a big risk of falling back to the previous, mass-spending behavior. It’s the same with dieting – you want to have a diet that’s easy to follow, instead of one which will make you feel miserable, as the latter can often have you skip dieting altogether.

Don’t Be Afraid to Buy Stuff – Be Afraid to Spend Too Much

There is indeed another way – saving by making wiser choices when it comes to buying the more expensive products. It’s perfectly fine to get a new TV once in a while, as long as you make careful choices and not get the most expensive one just because. In many cases you can find basically the exact same product for a fraction of the price, especially when it comes to high-end electronics. All it takes is some extra time and effort, and maybe some extra frustration – but if you’re like me, you’ll soon realize it’s also a lot of fun.

Again, the problem with just skipping all the expensive stuff is that it also means you risk skipping saving altogether – everything’s a hassle, and so it’s easier just to get rid of it and start spending. If you grant yourself some nice things once in a while you have a much greater chance of staying on budget, even though it might sound counterproductive.

I have a friend who tries to save as much as possible as she recently lost her job, until a month or so ago when she discovered the whole smoothie thing. She tried my blender and got excited to get her own, and panicked when she realized the type she wanted would cost her about 400 bucks. She started questioning her whole saving practice, until we had a talk and I showed her this Omega blender here, with almost the exact same features for just half the price. She ultimately got it, and kept within her budget too.

Finding Good Stuff Cheap

It is indeed an art to find good products at cheap prices, but it’s totally doable. All you have to do is plan ahead, think twice, and never buy a product directly after you first saw it. If you get excited about for example a new cell phone, you’ll have to accept that you can’t get it right away. First you’ll spend some time on the Internet and in stores trying to find a cheaper model with about the same features. If that fails, you go on to looking for the same model in different stores with other prices. If that fails too, you’ll just have to wait for any special offers. I once saved up to 70 % on a new phone, thanks to a special offer!

The Internet is an amazing resource for getting stuff cheaper – there are multiple sites specializing in comparing prices to get you the best price imaginable. You also want to make sure you really need this exact model – in many cases what you’re paying for is the brand or some niche extra feature that you don’t really need. When helping my friend with the blender, I found a very refreshing juicing site. They review juicers and blenders and detail not only the pros, but also the cons – and the ideal use for each machine. So you are assisted in finding a tool that fits your purpose.

The Constant Battle

You shouldn’t go overboard, of course, but you shouldn’t deny yourself all too much either. If you walk around feeling like a miserable poor slob, maybe a new jacket, a phone or a video game will actually help. There’s nothing wrong in spending money on yourself, even when you’re saving, as long as you make sure to not spend too much on something you could have gotten much cheaper.

Happy saving, and happy spending!

Budgeting for a Better Retirement

It’s easy to plan an enjoyable retirement full of unlimited travel, world-class meals and many more of the finest things in life. However, it is a sad reality that most people will simply not be able to afford anything more than surviving from day to day in retirement. Part of the problem is that most people perceive retirement as some far-off goal that they don’t need to think about until much later in life. This means that when retirement approaches it is easily to face the unpleasant surprise of not having enough funds. This is why it is absolutely essential that you include retirement savings/investments in your budgeting.

At this point in time you may be under the impression that your financial resources will be perfectly capable of supporting your ideal retirement. However, you need to do the calculations carefully to make sure that your financial situation is as good as you think it is. You also need to consider the effect that a negative financial market or investment loss could have on your retirement savings. By carefully calculating how much you think you will need for retirement, and how much you have saved, you can start to get an idea of whether your finances will actually be adequate. Like many people, you may be surprised that you are actually not as prepared for retirement as you might think.

There are many additional expenses in retirement that you need to plan for, but you still need to be able to cover all the essential expenses as well. Some of these essentials may include mortgage/housing costs, insurance and taxes, associated vehicle costs, utility expenses, health care or health insurance, groceries and clothes. Some non essential retirement spending that you need to consider should include expenses for travel, eating out, entertainment, hobbies and any other plans that you might have for your time. It doesn’t take long to realize that retirement requires more funding than most people plan for, but with proper budgeting now you can make sure that you have enough to fund your retirement.

The first step in the process is to take a hard look at your financial situation. A good financial planner is the perfect place to start, as they can help you develop a budget and an investment strategy for your retirement savings. You should then develop a new household budget and include additional savings for retirement. You can then use modern tools and software, Mint.com is one of our favorites, to track all of your earnings and spending. This type of software really helps you to get a handle on your finances and he gives you a chance to analyze your spending and savings in great detail. You should also pay great attention to how your retirement savings are invested. There are many fantastic websites that track the best performing super funds and retirement funds and these can help you make the most out of your money.

Dreaming of a fantastic retirement is simply not enough. You also need to ensure that you will be able to afford the type of lifestyle that you dream of in retirement. You can do this by taking a little bit of time to analyze your budget and find more savings to help you truly enjoy your golden years.

Smart Budgeting 101

Today’s economy makes daily living tough for everyone. Because of this, most people today are not satisfied with their financial standing. The good news is that this doesn’t have to be the case; everyone can actually do something to improve their finances. It goes without saying that one way people can improve their finances is by engaging in smart budgeting. Through smart budgeting, anyone can actually live a more comfortable lifestyle whilst still being able to enjoy not being in debt.

When it comes to smart budgeting, the first thing people should do is decide on what their priorities are. Obviously, about half or two-thirds of one’s take-home pay should go into basic necessities. These necessities include, but are not limited to: housing, transportation, and food. Once you have budgeted for basic necessities, you should decide where the rest of your money goes. When deciding priorities, it is important for people to consider if they really are going to benefit by spending money on a certain thing. Spending money on entertainment is great and all, but will spending all of your extra money on it prove beneficial to you? When deciding priorities, people really need to consider investing their money in worthwhile endeavours.

For many people, one of their top priorities happens to be spending money on amazing trades. This is because by spending money on such a thing, people can gain a lot more money than what they originally had. In fact, some people consider prioritizing investing above all else the smartest way to budget one’s money. By spending much of one’s extra money on binary options trading, for example, anyone can gain a lot more money which they can then spend on other priorities.

Of course, before one budgets a significant portion of their money for investing, they must first find a brokerage that actually offers amazing services. When it comes to binary options trading brokers, no name is more trusted than Banc de Binary. For this reason, most people who get into binary options trading create a Banc de Binary account. By doing this, they are able to access an amazing trading platform where they are able to make the most amazing trades – the money they earn from such an endeavour is then used for priorities other than investing. Compared to those who budget money without putting any of it in investments, those who do binary options trading end up being able to budget more wisely because the money they put into trades goes back to them doubled at the least.

Hopefully, this post of mine will prove helpful to the people out there who are having budgeting woes. By efficiently tackling budgeting woes, you can surely improve your financial standing. All it takes is for you to do proper research on where you should put your money. Once you do this, you can expect to live a more comfortable life without having to lose much of your savings. The earlier you do this, the better, so if I were you, I’d start making a smart budgeting plan as soon as possible.

How To Manage Your Money After Winning A Product Liability Lawsuit

When people receive a windfall of money from a product liability lawsuit, they often end up feeling overwhelmed by all of their new options. In an ideal world, money brings these people closer to financial independence, but many people end up mishandling their money; oftentimes, they end up right back where they started from financially.

When receiving a substantial amount of money, it’s important to devise a strategy; if you don’t, you end up running through all of your money within a year or two. The biggest mistake you can make is to blow all of your money on unnecessary items and risky investments. You need to remember that a dollar is a dollar; it doesn’t matter how you earned it.

Follow these steps to manage your money wisely:

Take Inventory

It’s important to know where you are financially; the easiest way to do this is to create a list of all your assets and financial obligations. Take a look at your insurance coverage, retirement funds and emergency funds. Make sure that your safety funds are fully stocked; if they aren’t, take some of your settlement and invest it into funds that will help you in the future. If you owe any high-interest debts, try to pay those down as quickly as possible.

When you do this, you become financially stable. If you take care of important areas first, you can guarantee that the rest of your financial life will be easier.

Think Before You Act

When you earn a settlement from a product liability case, it’s tempting to go out and spend money like there’s no tomorrow. If you want to be smart about your money, take a step back and look at your financial figures; ask yourself how you can grow your wealth without risk.

If you act without thinking, you can get yourself into trouble. For example, some people use all of their money to pay off their mortgages, and they don’t leave themselves enough for future expenses. If you do this, your mortgage is paid, but you don’t have enough money for day-to-day living. Always think through your decisions before acting on them.

Avoid Risk

It’s a good idea to put some of your settlement money into a portfolio. When you do this, make sure that you avoid risky investments. A portfolio that gives you a steady stream of income is better than one that gambles on a lot of risky investments. To achieve financial stability, you need to invest in a “get rich slow” portfolio; you need to look for something that offers slow and steady gains without much volatility.

Hire An Expert

A financial planner or tax accountant can help you manage your money wisely; they can create an easy plan for you to follow. If your settlement came as a surprise, you might feel overwhelmed with all of your options; a professional can help you look at your situation from a practical viewpoint.

When you come across money, tons of people will come out of the woodwork. Make it a point not to rely on what sales representatives tell you. Always hire a reputable money manager; they understand your goals, and they help you take steps towards achieving them.

How To Save Money On Your Housing Costs

This site is all about how to save you money, and stick to a budget that you can live with. Whether it’s your daily living expenses or some other thing in your life, we want to help you save money. As you know, housing costs are likely your biggest monthly expense (aside from debt for some people but we hope that isn’t you!).  Housing is truly a large expense and that “roof over your head” is rather important to keep.

Whether you are renting or the house you live in requires a mortgage payment, there is a better than average chance that you will be trying to maintain a lower cost for those monthly payments, just so you can manage your budget. There are several options to help you save money on rental property.

●Consider taking on a roommate to help with the cost.
●When the budget is tight, think about a low rent district.
●It may not be possible to lower the rent, at least keep it fixed with a long term lease.
●Shopping for the best rental deal is up to you, remember if you get utilities included, you are already ahead of the game
●Leave the option of bartering on the table, offer to fix and maintain for a reduced rental rate.

One other thing you should consider if you are a renter is looking into rentals that match your income.  These are called “income based apartments” and if you qualify, you can save a large percentage of your income. These aren’t always easy to qualify for but if you do, be sure to seize the opportunity.

But what happens if you are the landlord, in other words, you own the property. They call it the “American Dream” but for most it could be called the “daily struggle.” Mortgages and house payments aren’t cheap and they take forever to pay off. However, there are ways to keep those mortgage payments low too. Consider these things:

●If you need lower payments now, the simplest way is to extend the life of the mortgage as long as possible, you can always double up on those payments if you have extra funds.
●Before applying for a mortgage, make sure that you have a decent score. A poor credit score usually translates to high interest and high mortgage payments.
●Don’t shop for a home when you are desperate, remember, the more you plan, the better the results.
●Try to put down a larger down-payment, just like a car, you will end up with lower monthly payments.
●Talk to your lending agency about special deals and programs like PRA (Principle Reduction Alternative), if you qualify, it could help.

With a monthly budget that is already stretched, wouldn’t you like to cut corners wherever you can? As we started this article, housing is likely your biggest expense so it makes complete sense to try and minimize those costs. Whether you try to reduce your monthly rental burden, or reduce your mortgage payment, you will be well ahead of the game if you try to minimize your housing costs.

Money-Saving Tips for Book Lovers

Hand and book stairs isolated on white backgroundBooklovers are always on the lookout for great reads. But great books can be really expensive. Instead of skipping meals to save for the books on your wish list, there are ways you can get your hands on them while spending only a few bucks:

1. Use Your Local Library. I know, you can’t buy books at libraries, but libraries are a great place if you want to “test” a book. It is a smart move to scan a book before actually buying it to make sure that it is a story worth spending a dime for. If you have an eye for a specific book, go and see if your local library has a copy.

 2. Check Out Book Swapping Websites . Oh goodness, the Internet is a gold mine for book lovers! There are a number of good book swap sites out there where you can trade your books with other book owners. For book swapping all over the globe, try Title Trader. It works on a credit system: you get credit if somebody requested and received one of your books. Then you use that credit to request books from other owners. Pretty simple!

There are also other book swapping sites like BookMooch, PaperBack Swap, SwitchPlanet, and Textbook Revolt.

3. Shop at Secondhand Stores. There are usually lots of secondhand bookstores all over the country. Look for one in your local area. These stores sometimes let you trade your books in exchange for their books and also some store credits. They usually have enormous piles of books all over; you have to search your way to a good book. It’s a fun way to hunt for the next good read!

4. Buy Used Books on Online Shopping Sites. Websites like Amazon and Half.com offer used versions of books which you can buy for as low as $0.75! Half.com is an eBay owned website that exclusively offers used but still acceptable products. You’ll be amazed at the great deals you can find on such websites.

5. Look Out for Garage Sales. Yard sales are exciting places for acquiring precious books! If you are looking for interesting books you may not have heard about yet, garage sales may be the best place for you. Often you can find classics and other rare books at yard sales but it’s not a good searching place for specific books.

The life of a book lover is filled with heart-jumping moments of finally finding the next perfect addition to book collections. If you follow these tips, you can satisfy both your bibliophilia and penny-saving itch!

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