Monthly Archives: August 2010

Ways People Make Money During Recession

Hello,

Many people are out of work, and currently are struggling to find employment so that they can ‘go on’ with their lives. The only thing we need to consider is that the so-called white-collar jobs are becoming fewer and fewer, and the number of individuals looking for this type of employment are increasing by the day. Maybe its time we started thinking outside the box, and look for the type of job that we often ignore. Hey, as long as it brings the bacon home, right? Lilian Waldner gives you a few tips on how to go about this.

Some people always find tricks to help themselves during times of economic crisis. Legions of employees have lost their jobs. Glamorous investment bankers have been dismissed, and experience the struggle of life now. The time of big bonuses is for many of them over. The incomes shrink, while the expenses for the mortgages remain high. Many are forced to sell their homes, and luxurious cars. Well paid bankers move in jobs as waiters or drivers.

People who have acquired practical skills or have learnt a craft, are in the best position these days. They do not need to stay just at home after their dismissal. They do not just suffer from the exchange of their salary with the lower payment from the unemployment insurance. They find a way to serve in a cash-in-hand job. Other terms for this kind of informal jobs are clandestine employment or moonlighting. Statistics show that the rate of this kind of occupation varies between 0.5 and 20 percent of the gross domestic product within the western, industrialised countries. The syndrome of cash-in-hand jobs usually increases during economic recessions, and it decreases during phases of economic booms.

What are the professional skills that elevate the chance to do a cash-in-hand job? Office cleaning is a widespread way to make money in an informal job for people who are ready to do this job. There are, of course, other professions that pave the way to moonlighting: e.g. mechanist, electrician, plumber, bricklayer. There are always homes, appliances, home electronics and cars that have to be repaired. Many people are ready to pay cash on hand, and to circumvent the additional expenses of social insurances and taxes. Tailors can made or repair cloths by moonlighting. Some people take their pick up, and provide some extra transports during their leisure time after their formal employment.

Cash-on-hand jobs offer a lot of opportunities to get some extra money besides of the regular work or payment from social insurances. No taxes are raised on the income. Cash-on-hand jobs replace in many cases the income of a regular job. People who do that kind of work have to consider following: It is risky, because it is illegal. They and their customers can be fined by the authority. The workers are not insured against the risks of an accident. This causes serious problems in a case of an accident on the job. Their salary does not contribute the necessary fees to the pension or unemployment insurance. Thus, they risk not receiving appropriate payments from a pension when they become old.

The best way is to do all the above mentioned services legally, and to pay taxes and social insurance fees for it. The described crafts and skills as above are also suitable to work fully as a freelancer or to supplement the basic salary of a regular job.


Access to Personal Finance is as Vital as Business Finance!

Hello,

In the legal world, a company and the owners are two different entities, but this cannot be said of a small business where the owner and the business are one and the same entity. So, you’ll find out that a lot of business owners will walk into a bank to ask for credit or loan in their name, but the real reason for the loan is for business purposes. Now that a lot of banks are very careful when lending money, a lot of individuals and their businesses are suffering which is making the already bad situation worse. Derek Cooper in this article brings out that point clearly, and why we should rethink our credit strategy.

I have come across many examples of small business owners, or directors who use personal borrowing to supplement their business cash flow. This practise may not strictly be the right way to finance a business, but certainly it has for a number of years, been the reality for many businesses.

Unfortunately, due to the effects of the credit crunch, personal credit is now becoming much harder to obtain. As has been widely reported, lenders are being more careful when considering what and to whom to lend, thus affecting the availability of both secured and unsecured loans. In addition, despite interest rates being their lowest since records began, the interest being charged by banks for personal loans is now higher than any point in the last 5 years at between 8-9% APR. This increase means that even if money is available, it is more expensive to repay.

With personal borrowing more difficult to come by, small business owners are less likely to be able to get access to funds. As a result, the life blood of their business dries up, and all too often the business is unable to continue to operate. More and more businesses are therefore failing and jobs being lost. In my view, this situation goes hand in hand with the problem of personal insolvency that we are currently experiencing in the UK. The Times on Sunday reported on the 23rd May 2009, a suggestion from the Citizens Advice Bureau, that there may be many more people who are suffering personal insolvency in the UK, than the official figures show. I believe that this analysis is absolutely correct. According to insolvency statistics published by the Insolvency Service, in the first quarter of 2009, just under 30,000 individuals were declared personally insolvent.

However, these figures only include formal insolvency – i.e. people who have declared bankruptcy or entered into an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). I believe a conservative estimate would be that for every person declaring formal insolvency, there are at least another two who are insolvent, but dealing with the problem by using an informal Debt Management Plan (DMP). A Debt Management Plan is simply a gentleman’s agreement between an individual, and their creditors to reduce monthly debt repayments to fit within an affordable budget. There is no formal register of these plans, and therefore no way currently to accurately measure the number of people who enter into them. If my estimation is correct, this would mean that an additional 60,000 individuals would have become insolvent in the first quarter, of 2009 totalling 90,000 all together.

Surely, the significant increase in the number of people suffering personal insolvency simply highlights the problems that are currently being faced by small business. Where access to cash is not available, increasing numbers of businesses are likely to fail. The knock on effect of this is increasing redundancy, and the likelihood of personal insolvency for both employees, and the former business owners themselves.

The Government has made its intentions clear to help businesses through increasing availability of business loans. However, I believe that whether we like it or not, the life blood of small business is the finance that business owners take on personally in the form of personal loans and mortgage debt. As such, where these types of funds are not readily available, the difficulties currently facing small businesses are likely to continue.


The Power Of Planning

Hello,

A lot of individual think that if you want to save, all you to do is simply start deducting money from your paycheck, and boom! your on your way to financial freedom. I hate to disappoint you, but it’s not as easy as you think, because first you’ll have o sit down and decide which areas of your life need to be cut-off or reduced, and of course there are expenses that will never change no matter what. So it’s not as easy as it sounds, but Ken Keiss in the following article will show you how you can go about planning your life, and hopefully you won’t lose motivation to stop what you are doing. Here goes

“In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower, US General and President (1890 -1969)

The Power of Planning

Planning: a method of accomplishing an objective

Many of us will admit that the most important event — our life — gets the least amount of planning.

Just last week, our family was talking about our wish to vacation in Disneyland. When we went to book our timeshare, alas, nothing was available. It was obvious that others had planned farther ahead and, as a result, we now must postpone our trip or choose another option. Isn’t life like that!? We think about the planning part but often leave it too late — or we don’t plan at all and, before we know it, we are unprepared or unable to fully achieve our objective.

Planning — on a personal, professional, business, or organizational level — is developed from purpose, vision, mission, and values, concepts we have discussed in previous Living on Purpose ezines. So why bother with planning? And why are so few people really effective planners? The next quote can start us on the path to understanding.

“Good plans shape good decisions. That’s why good planning helps to make elusive dreams come true.” Lester R. Bittel, The Nine Master Keys of Management

Lester is correct in his premise — that planning and the plans that come out of this process are the wheels, and strategies that bring life to your dreams and vision. These are the action steps that put your philosophical position into motion. But more important, they are intentional thoughts and actions steps, not accidental events on the way to your goal.

Sports and athletics are a great metaphor for successful planning models, and strategies. When an athlete has a goal or objective to win a specific event, such as in the Olympics, the planning to win goes into motion immediately. Setting the goal or establishing the vision is not enough; the athlete must have a plan to get there. The coaching team reviews the individual’s strengths, and weaknesses and compares them to the competition. The objective is winning a medal, but the planning is critical to helping the person achieve the goal.

In 1982 (I know that is long time ago, but stay with me), I was selected to compete in a National 4-H Judging competition. For me, attending was not enough of a challenge. Winning the competition was my goal. I self-assessed my capabilities, based on each of the two-part, five-section judging contests. To win meant I had to be above average in every competition. I called the best experts in each category, and explained my situation and my goal. I asked if they would be willing to set up live practice sessions for me, and coach me to improve my skills. I also asked each expert to share his or her top tips for success. Four weeks later, I walked into the competition with new-found confidence, not because I was great, but because I had planned and prepared for my success. Even though victory was not guaranteed — after all, I was competing with the best from all over the country — I knew my preparation and planning had paid off when my name was called as the overall top competitor. Without a doubt whatsoever, my success was based on my level of planning and preparation.

At what level are you in your planning in all areas of your life? In the areas of health, family, wealth, personal, professional, spiritual, and social, do have your path laid out? If planning is so important, why don’t we do it? My experience and other research outline a few primary reasons why we never get to our life planning.

  • The tyranny of the urgent wins our attention and time.
  • The lack of discipline/commitment sabotages the planning process.
  • A lack of understanding of the critical importance of planning for success diminishes its importance.
  • The planning process is unfamiliar or appears overwhelming so people abandon the process before they start.
  • Lack of clear purpose, vision, values, or focus causes even the best-laid plans to fail before they begin.
  • Lack of belief, low self-worth, or fear of success/failure undermine the process.

There are certainly other reasons. What are yours?

When Yale University researched goal setting in the ‘70s, it was discovered that only 3 percent of the population had actual written goals, and/or plans. This is an area where most of us, me included, can improve. There is much more to the planning process, but rather than overpower you with additional steps, let’s start with what we have so far.

First you must be clear about your beliefs, purpose, vision, values, goals, and focus. If you do not have these items clarified, set up a plan to do the necessary clarification. One of my colleagues, Dr. Stephen Haines, calls this a Plan-to-Plan session — in other words, what you have to get in place before you can travel downstream with the planning process.

My purpose is to help others find their purpose. After 15 years of fine-tuning, and focusing my purpose, I know a person’s clarity of purpose is foundational to his or her level of success, and impact. Show me a person with no stated/clear purpose, values, vision, or mission and — 99 times out of a 100 — I’ll show you someone who is limited in personal and global impact.

Start with the planning actions steps below.

This Week’s Action Steps

  • First acknowledge that plans and planning are critical and that they highly influence your level of success.
  • Be clear about your beliefs, purpose, values, vision, and mission before you seriously undertake your life-planning session. This is your Plan-to-Plan session. If needed, utilize the following assessments and resources to help you in the clarity process.
  • Write down all the areas in your life where you could use a plan or where you could benefit from planning, including but not limited to: health and wellness, financial, family, spiritual, personal, and professional.
  • Determine where you would like to be (your goal or objective) in each of the important areas in your life. That is called establishing your desired future state or condition.
  • Establish where you are now in each of those areas; this is called your current state.
  • Now, with both future and current state lists, benchmark the gaps, if any, in each area. Be as clear and specific as possible about what the gaps are. Rather than stating “I am short of savings,” document the exact amount of money you are short.
  • Armed with your gap analysis and current and future states, allot a separate sheet for each item. Do this when you can apply focus and undivided attention to this activity. Now brainstorm, in no particular order, all the activities and steps you think you will need to implement to close the gaps. Please: no self-judgments or put downs — just do it.
  • Once you have completed your brainstorming session, take each sheet of ideas and start to formulate the activities into specific action steps. Over time, do this for each important area of your life. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many activities.
  • Create a very easy and simple summary and tracking sheet that you can review on a regular basis.
  • Track your progress. If something is not getting done, re-evaluate whether it is really important to you. Get going on it or get it off the list.
  • Finally, celebrate your wins no matter how minor or seemly insignificant. As actor Bill Murray so beautifully showed us in the movie Dr. Bob, success is the accumulation of many baby steps.

Financial Behaviour of Overspending

Hello,

I know we all have this problem of spending what we don’t have, and this makes it difficult for someone to control their spending habits. I mean can you picture yourself walking down the street in New York or any other city, you see something you really want and don’t have the cash, but you have your card. This is why I always say that to be financial independent takes a lot of sacrifice, but in the end you will be victorious against debt and all other financial problems that are ruining a lot of people’s lives. Corobo in the following article gives tips on how you can control your overspending, and I hope it will help you overcome this ‘urge’ you have to spend.

Everyone has to become accountable for our terrible financial behavior, and wild money spending habits. What is really happening is that we’re piling up to much debt on our cell phones, and living large with cruises, cars, clothes, cosmetics and liquor financed on our credit cards. Let’s look at 8 ways that can help you change your financial behavior:

  • Admit your mistakes. We’ve all been shamed by some financed fiasco at some time when we’ve gotten scammed, overcharged or when we overspent on bad deals. Schools never taught you how to handle money in the first place so don’t beat yourself up about it.
  • Get help. Get a second job and devote that money to bill payments.
  • Teach yourself. Take a class, pick up a financial magazine, surf the financial web sites, and change the channel to a business financial talk show. Teaching yourself won’t solve lifelong money problems, but they will help you to start thinking about better ways to handle your money.
  • Do some plastic cut up. Plan to pay off at least one or more credit cards with a large balance before the end of the year. Make a pledge to yourself, your loved ones, that you will free yourself of these plastic cards of voluntary slavery.
  • Adjust your expectations. Quick fixes will not cure the habits of three generations groomed by buy now, pay later marketing. Plan on a three-year turnaround period for new habits, mind-sets and results to make a complete change in your personal profitability.
  • Turn book club into prosperity clubs. Share savings tips and credit card info, and help each other with the bailout of the leaky financial boat you’re all in. Remember, true sisterhood or brotherhood means we sink or survive together.
  • Apply discipline to our institutions. Getting honest about managing our finances has to be a personal as well as an institutional matter if we want to be respected as responsible, and accountable adults and organizations.
  • Demand more financial education. Maybe more media solutions; radio stations and definitely daily saturation reports on our financial lifestyle and solutions is the only way to break through this blind spot.

To bring this to a close, you must become accountable and responsible for your actions when it comes to overspending financial behaviors. Being in debt can be very tough to overcome and it can linger with you for the rest of your life if you don’t think about making a change.


How Can You Gain A Good Credit History?

Hello,

While we are talking about credit reports, we have to get a feel of the importance of a good credit report. Now is the time a lot of individuals are learning the importance of a credit report, when you’re in desperate needs of credit. But don’t lose faith, you can still make the right decisions now, and after a few years you credit report will be free of any statements that will deny you credit when you really need it. Here is an article by Peter Carville on how oh get a good credit report.

If you’re trying to buy a house, get a car loan, or even rent an apartment, your credit history can make or break the deal for you. This is because lenders, and landlords want to know whether you’re a ‘good’ risk or a ‘bad’ risk, and they use your credit rating to help them to decide. Building a good, solid credit rating is actually not such a difficult thing to do – provided that you pay attention to your bills and your budget.

The best place to start is to request a copy of your credit report. You’re entitled to receive a free copy of your credit report once every twelve months from one of the three major credit-reporting agencies: Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. You can request your credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com. Your credit report is essentially a breakdown of your financial history, and lists your accounts, balances and repayment behaviour for each debt or bill you’ve had. It is important to note that your credit report is not your FICO credit score, the three-digit rating that lenders, and employers use to determine your creditworthiness. They will often consider your credit report during the evaluation process, however, so it’s an important document nonetheless.

When you receive your report, carefully check to see that the information shown is true and correct. Occasionally, credit reports include errors, such as accounts that don’t belong to you, or overdue balances that you’ve already paid. If you find any transactions that you believe are incorrect, promptly contact the credit agency and ask them to investigate the errors. On the plus side, any negative information including late payments, delinquencies and judgments against you will generally drop off your credit report after seven years. So, even if you’ve got a checkered credit history, you will have the opportunity to repair it. Bankruptcies can take up to 10 years to fall off your report, but they do disappear eventually as well.

Your best strategy, however, is to avoid getting any black marks against your name in the first place. To do this, make sure you pay all of your bills on time, from your phone bill to your gas and electricity account to your weekly rent – and if you have credit cards, ensure that at least the minimum balance is paid each month. And never, ever get credit on behalf of another person, in your name only – it almost always ends in disaster! Even the smallest blemish on your credit record can hurt you down the track, so it’s a good idea to request a copy of your credit report at least once every 12 months. If you need a gentle reminder, consider attaching the task to an existing annual event – for example, end of financial year. You’ll be preparing your tax return anyway, so you might as well make April your month to get on top of all of all your financial responsibilities!

To build a good credit history, consider these additional tips:

  • Some people believe it’s best not to have a credit card at all, so that there’s no possibility for late fees and missed payments to blemish their credit rating. Think again: most lenders want to see a credit card balance transfers and debt repayment, so if you’ve never had a credit account of any kind, you’ll likely have trouble getting approved for a home loan.
  • Open plenty of checking and savings accounts. These bank accounts help to establish you as part of the financial community. From a lenders perspective, this demonstrates that you’re responsible about your finances, as you have a checking account to pay bills, and a savings account to help plan for the future. Opening a bank account is something that even under 18’s can do to help establish their finance profile, as they’re too young to establish credit in their own name.

Find Missing Money and Ease Your Financial Misfortunes

Hello,

This might come as good news to some people, apparently there are billions of dollars of unclaimed money lying around in banks all over the country. This could come as a relief if you found out that you are some that ‘loot’. I could help in a number of ways like repaying debt or something of the sort. Read the following article by Arthur Pens of cashunclaimed.com, and I hope the information will help you come across money you desperately need at the moment.

Are you being hounded by collection agencies? Do you constantly worry over money? Well, there may be an easy solution to your financial difficulties. You could have unclaimed money that is owed to you, and not even know it. An estimated 9 out of 10 Americans are said to have money owed to them, from a myriad of sources. Old bank accounts, rebates from utility companies, health insurance checks, and last paychecks, are just a few examples of sources of unclaimed funds.

There are billions of dollars sitting idle in bank accounts all across the country, collecting interest. For whatever reason, the bank has been unable to locate the rightful owner of the funds, and so it sits, unclaimed. The banks have an obligation to try their best to find the rightful owners of the money, but it is ultimately your responsibility to claim your missing money. You need to set aside the time to search for monies that are owed to you.

So how do you get started in your search for any missing money? It’s actually very simple considering today’s advanced technology. A simple search will tell you if you have money that is owed to you, how much, and by whom. All the information you need will be given to you, so you can contact the appropriate bank, and make the necessary arrangements to get your money back. You could have them wire the money to you, mail you a check, or you can even pick it up in person if you live close by.

Search for internet sites that have comprehensive databases of names. Some may charge a nominal fee, but will allow for unlimited searches, so you can search for not just yourself, but family and friends as well. You may find that you are able to recover the money you need to pay off that debt, or make that extra mortgage payment so you don’t fall behind. It may just be enough to stop the annoying collection calls. It may be enough so you don’t have to worry about taking on a second job. The fact is, you will never know unless you take action and find out if you have money coming to you.

The process is simple: enter your first and last name in the comprehensive database. The database contains all of the banks across America. It compares your name with any unclaimed funds. In just a few minutes your search will give you information on any money owed to you, how much, and which bank is holding the funds. Take action today and find out for yourself if you have missing money that is owed to you. No one is going to go out of their way to help you reclaim your money. it’s up to you to take control of your future, and your circumstances. You will never know unless you try – you might just feel like you’ve won the lottery!
Average claims are $960 and more. Some claims total over $100,000 each!


Build Good Credit Card History In Five Easy Ways

Hello,

A lot of individuals have been turned away from additional credit, because of their credit report particularly the damage done by credit cards. As I have said over and over again, that little piece of plastic you are carrying could be your saviour or it could cripple you financially. Its times like this when you are in need of some credit line, and all the major lenders are giving you a cold shoulder because of your credit report. The following article by Samantha Wilson shows you how you can use your credit card wisely, and at the same time improving your credit report.

Everything that has to do with credit, and lenders are reflected in one’s credit report. Based on your credit report, your lenders would be making decisions on whether to grant you the credit you need, to give you better rates or decline your application. Employers and landlords would also be judging your credit worthiness, based upon what they see from your credit report.

There’s no denying that people need a good credit history to function better in the society. Here are 5 effective ways in building a good credit history:

Go for low-interest credit cards.

People need to own a credit card at one point or another. However, not everyone is diligent enough to find the credit card with the best deal. In fact, most credit card holders got their card without even doing research, or understanding the rates and terms involved. There are hundreds of credit card choices in the market, and not all offer a good deal. If you want to find a low-interest credit card with reasonable terms and costs, do your homework. Examine the credit card terms and conditions, to be able to compare each one more accurately.

Watch your credit card use closely.

Your credit card let’s you do your shopping without the need to bring cash or make purchases on an emergency without the need to pay upfront. However, it is crucial that you use your credit card only for charges that you can afford to pay in full on, or before your due date. Carrying over credit card balances from month to month means having to pay for additional interest rate which can be very expensive.

Don’t use up more than half your credit limit.

Exceeding your credit limit is definitely a no-no. One of the biggest mistakes that a credit card holder can commit is to maximize the use of his credit. Borrowers who use up their credit limit to the fullest are seen as high risk by lenders. Ideally, you should not go beyond 30-40% of your allowable credit.

Pay your credit card balance in full every time.

One way to avoid getting stuck in debt is by paying off your balances in full each month. Not only will you be able to avoid the interest rates and penalty charges, you can also protect your credit history from negative ratings. If you want to improve your credit score, one of the best ways to do so is to pay off your balance completely each month.

Manage your credit card balances correctly.

Sometimes, when you need to charge a large amount of purchase in your credit card, you would have to carry over your balance for a few months. If that is the case, you need to be very aware of your payment obligations. Make it a point to pay more than the minimum to get off from your debts as quickly as you can. Also, see to it that you’ll be submitting your monthly payments on time to avoid late penalty charges.


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