With Thanksgiving break coming up, budgeting and planning your finances becomes vital. Here are some quick tips to help you make good financial decisions this festive season.
In order to avoid overspending this festive season, the best decision we can make is to plan ahead and make a budget. By doing this, we will have control of our finances. We have to:
- Decide and understand how much money we want to spend this break
- Make a list of all our expenses this season e.g fuel, entertainment
- Make sure we know where the money is coming from
- Make a realistic budget to efficiently track our spending
- Provide for miscellaneous expenses
The way we create our budget is up to us. But I want us to create this budget before the season starts and and make sure we revisit it to know we are on track.
During this season, we should try as much as possible to avoid impulse buying. I know its a festive season and it might be quite difficult, but we should try to develop that self control and avoid regrets.
MAKE SHOPPING LISTS!
There are lots of sales going in festive seasons. Take advantage of those as well as the deals and discounts on the various online platforms, shopping sites and even the offline shops (market).
Avoid Debt and Regrets
This season, we need to avoid debt as much as possible. I understand we all want to have as much fun as there is, but we should not borrow to do so.
We have to constantly remind ourselves that these seasons come and go, but debts are always hard to pay back. Manage what you have this period.
Make it enjoyable in your own little way and spend it with loved ones.
Maintain Your Savings
It is very easy to get caught up in a lot of spending this season. And its hard to maintain our savings option since there’s always the pressure to go all out with the spending.
I want us to maintain whatever saving option we’ve been into and also try to save during this period.
There is nothing like over saving when you have a target to reach.
Remember: Saving is worth it, it’s just that the end result feels so far away.
10 Ways To Avoid Financial Stress
If financial difficulties are keeping you awake at night, take action and tackle your problems head on otherwise they are likely to get worse. The ability to pay for rent, mortgages, bills, and food are fundamental to our quality of life.
It is important to plan for future financial hardship by making saving a goal and budgeting carefully. It’s impossible to predict what will happen in the future, so to cushion any financial hardship, it’s worth putting a little money aside each month.
Developing a savings plan now will enable you to get on with living your life stress-free!
Reduce monthly bills
List all your current outgoings and look to see if you can make any savings. Often it’s tempting to keep the same standing order from the same insurance company for year upon year. You are likely to be paying too much for your premiums and it’s worth shopping around and switching.
Look at the amount of interest you are paying on loans, mortgages and credit cards, you could be able to secure a better deal. One thing to remember is to check your credit score if it is poor lenders won’t give you the best interest rate.
It is possible to repair your credit score by using the expertise of a credit repair company.
Utility bills can be reduced by switching utility providers. Use an online comparison site to secure the best deal. Switching is easy as most of the work is completed for you by your new supplier.
To budget carefully you need to be in control of your spending and to be in control you need to be aware of your income and outgoings. List every necessary outgoing that must be met on a monthly basis and you will be left with an amount which will have been spent on miscellaneous items such as eating out.
You can then design a budget plan so that you can put a certain amount into a savings account. You will probably be surprised at how much your morning coffee costs when added up over the month.
Cut it down to once or twice a week and you will make significant savings.
Make savings work to your advantage
Savings (if you have them!) can work to your financial advantage. Ensure you choose the best financial products that give the maximum return on your savings. Financial products change rapidly to factor in a financial audit of your savings every couple of years to check savings are in the best account.
You could also consider investing your savings property or financial shares. This has the potential to be lucrative but is not without risk. Consider hiring a professional and independent financial advisor for advice.
Ideally, you should set apart some of your salaries each month in order to build up an emergency fund. Life can be unpredictable and without savings to fall back on, your car breaking down or your roof leaking could plunge you into more debt as you borrow to rectify the situation.
Savings will cushion the blow of any financial hardship.
Stop Paying Extra Bank or Late Fees
Late fees are not helping you. They add up over time – fees can even accrue fees!
If you are the kind of person who always forgets to pay their bills on time, you can get around this by automating your finances so that the money automatically goes out of your account.
You should also avoid making any extra charges on your credit card unless you are sure that you are able to pay it off in full at the end of the month.
Don’t Pay Full Price!
Paying full price is a really common financial mistake that a ton of people make.
In today’s world, you can find a sale on just about any item. If you see something you need at the store, take a few moments to shop for it online and you’ll probably be able to save 10-20%
Not only does this method stop you from overpaying, it also gives you a moment to think and decide whether or not what you were thinking of buying is actually a worthwhile investment.
Create a Financial Defense Plan
All of us need to not only earn our living and grow our finances if we’re to live a comfortable and happy life, but we must also defend them.
That means ensuring you stay rational, sensible and forward-thinking in all matters related to your financial health.
There are a few considerations you can take care of in order to make this so, and generate a cognitive and systemic financial defense to keep your money yours, and flowing in the direction you most want.
Here are the keys to defending your financial interests
Know Good Lawyers
The most important thing is to have good counsel and good advice. So, hire the best attorneys that you can afford. From real estate to contracts to brand protection, you need someone behind you making sure you aren’t making any major missteps.
The world practically runs in the courtroom now, unfortunately. So, with good attorneys on your side, it will keep you out of the courtroom and focused on running your business.
Have A Contingency Plan
It’s always best to have a fail-safe.
This might mean never tying up all your investments in one basket. It might mean diversifying your investments .
Or, it could mean allowing only one or two financial handlers to have any kind of insight into your money matters in the first place.
The key is to be able to have a solid plan but also be able to pivot to something else should the first plan fail.
With the willingness to keep a backup plan, or a mode of operation to take when something fails or doesn’t go the way you expect, you at least won’t lose anything.
Keeping a solid contingency is also reliant on keeping solid discipline with your financial means – without this none of your decisions are likely to land effectively.
Pore Over Contracts
Whenever signing a contract, or forging a new one, you need to know exactly what terms are referring to.
You also need to read between the lines, and consider what situations a certain stipulation could affect in the future. Remember, even vaguely written terms in a contract do not fall there unexpectedly.
They are either there to make or defend a certain form of income, or persuade and dissuade a certain type of behavior. Every word counts.
Remember the first recommendation? Well, here’s where they come in. But, it’s important to know how to read and interpret the contracts yourself as well.
Study contract terminology and simply dedicate the time to observe and understand.
Look For Weak Spots
What are the weak spots in your defense system?
Could it be family members having access to your accounts? Do you think it could it be emotional family members asking for financial help, when this is not genuine?
Or perhaps it could it be the services you bank with.
Don’t forget about the way you log in to your accounts and store passwords.
To prevent your finances from being breached, keep up to date on modern security measures. From there, you should be settled.
To reduce your financial stress, the key is to lower your costs, increase your passive income, and protect your assets.
How You Can Do MORE With Your Money
The more money you have, the more things you can do.
But what are you going to do with that extra money anyhow?
People tend to blow the money that they barely have. Sometimes they blow money before they even have it!
So, think about what you can do with your money, and think about what you are doing at the minute. Are you even covering the basics and making sure that you have a nice bit of savings behind you?
Most people aren’t. When thinking about what to do with money, people often jump to spending and thinking about the materialistic things that can be had in life.
But there really is more to life than that, and that’s what people forget about. Money can be used in such a way that it can go in your favor, rather than it feeling as though it’s just being thrown down the drain.
So, to stop you throwing it down the drain, we’ve come up with some great tips that should help you do more with your money. Have a read on, and see what you think.
Develop Your Home
Developing your home is sort of like a long-term investment option.
If for example you have a family home, it might have a few bedrooms, and perhaps more than one bathroom. This is great, and it probably gives you all of the space that you need to be able to function as a happy family.
However, your children hopefully aren’t going to live with your forever, and there comes a time where they’re going to have to move out.
When they do, you’re not going to want to live in some big house without any company apart from the two of you.
However, when you come to sell, you might not feel as though you’re getting a good enough price, even though the house might be spacious and in a good area. So, you need to think about what it might be lacking.
This is where your development head comes on, and you think of all of the things that you can do to increase the value of your home for a future sale.
Even though it might feel as though you’re wasting your money to begin with, it’s all about the money you’re going to make in the future.
The types of things that you want to be thinking about are extensions and renovations. You don’t necessarily need to extend to create another room, or another bathroom either.
Another simple option is to buy some smart home technology which might help improve the value of your home.
Could You Donate?
Doing more with your money doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve got to do more to benefit you. Sometimes, the selfless things we do in life will benefit us the most.
Plus, this one will definitely make you feel humbled and honored. So, when thinking about donating, the charity that you donate to is important.
You can either pick a charity that you feel you can relate to. Perhaps someone in your family has been affected, or is being affected by a certain disease or illness.
Or you could think about donating to human and wildlife aid organisations. The work that they’re doing around the world is revolutionizing some countries. Without it, some countries would struggle to get the majority of their population alive. But, it’s not just humans who desperately need your money.
Animals are crying out for help, especially those that are endangered at the moment. You don’t necessarily need to donate a fortune, literally every little does help when it comes to donating to charity.
You could even set up some form of fundraising day, and get your whole community involved. All you would need to do is pay to host and set up the event, and donate all of the proceedings to charity.
You might be able to make more this way, and you’re definitely going to raise some great awareness for whatever charity you’re trying to help. There’s also the option of going on pages such as gofundme, and figuring out which people need your help the most.
Some of looking for money to complete humanitarian aid missions, others are desperately seeking money for the medical treatment they need. Putting your money to a good cause like this is sometimes the best option, especially when you feel as though you have money to blow.
If you don’t want to give away your money, and your main aim is to make it, then you’re going to have to think about investment options. First of all, you need to know that investment is risky. You’re not necessarily going to make back your money every time.
But, it’s a game that’s worth playing. Play it right, and you will always be building on your fortune. So, the first investment option that we want to talk about is the property one.
We’re talking about it first because it’s probably the most easiest to get into. First of all, you can go into properties abroad, which a lot of people are now choosing to do.
Once you’ve purchased an investment property, it’s all about making sure it’s perfect to rent out, and then getting the whole process of being able to rent it out started.
You should always make sure that you’re following the rules of the country that you would like to rent from.
There are certain laws you’re going to need to follow, and you can get into a lot of trouble if you try and avoid them! To make sure you’re getting enough custom, you need to make sure you’re showing your apartment as listed on multiple different websites.
You’ll most likely have to pay a fee for this, but at least it’s going to bring you in some custom.
The second investment option we have to talk about is something you can do from the comfort of your own home, and you don’t need such a big lump sum of money to start the investment. We’re talking about bitcoin, and there’s many reasons why you should consider investing in this area.
Despite what people might think, there is a way of making money through it. All you need to do is learn how to trade, and do your thing!
There are plenty of online tutorials that will walk you through the whole process. But essentially, it’s all about making sure that you’re buying and selling at the right time.
Sometimes, if you focus on what you’re spending your money on so much, and where it’s going at the end of every month, then you’re never going to be able to enjoy yourself.
Sometimes, if you have the money to do so, you’re best off just enjoying yourself. As they say, you’re only young once, and life is meant for living.
Take some time to go and see the world, or buy that car you’ve always wanted to buy, or take yourself on the shopping trip that you have badly needed for so long.
The more you treat yourself, the happier you’re going to feel. But the thing you need to make sure of is that you’re not getting carried away. I
t’s so easy to overspend, and it’s what most people tend to do when they have a lot of money in their bank. The last thing you would want is to go from riches to rags, so always watch your money.
This is just a final option that you could think of. A little side business on top of what you already do could help your finances just grow and grow. It doesn’t have to be anything that takes too much of your time, perhaps something so simple as a home business in arts and crafts.
As long as it’s something that you can grow, it’ll be something that you’ll enjoy. Plus, if things get a little too hectic and you find you can’t manage, you can always give up!
Be sensible, and do more with the money you’ve got, While you can!
Renting A House? Here Are 7 Things You Should Consider
Most millennials want to have their apartments, either to be independent, live close to places of work or discover themselves (goals and capabilities) outside the influence of their families.
Before you decide to rent or move into an apartment, be ready to do the work. Do not be desperate. There are a lot of background checks to avoid financial or non-financial issues in the future – and you need to go through that process very carefully.
Do not leave the things that matter to you in the hands of your agent.
Here are some points to consider when trying to rent a house:
Research the Area
You have to explore the area before you move in.
Is it near the market? Is it near the hospital? Can you easily access the bus stop? Does it get flooded during the raining season? Is it safe? Is close enough to work? Is the environment conducive? Is dirt dumped close to the building? etc.
As I said earlier, it is up to you to do all the research you can before signing or making payments. You can speak to few individuals in the neighborhood to get more information on what you need.
You should start your apartment search way early to avoid making decisions in a haste.
It costs more than you think: Understand the Contract
Before accepting to pay any rental fee. You need to go through the contract to understand the exact amount you would pay in your first year of moving in and in subsequent years.
An agent might tell you a rent fee is $10,000 per annum, but then, you find yourself paying more than that in the first year. This might leave you financially down because it wasn’t planned for. Fees might include:
- House Rent
- Agency Fee
- ”Omo onile” fee
- Security fee
- Waste fee
- Legal fee
- Administration fees etc.
Another thing you have to sort is the rent increase issue. Will there be subsequent increase in the rent? You have to get clarity on this from the agent or landlord.
In the event of justifiable rent increase, you have the right to know early enough to prepare for it.
Check the Price Guide for your Area
This is really important, to avoid being cheated on. Houses in specific areas have similar costs of rent, provided they are offering you the same services.
Beware of Hidden Cost
There may turn out to be some extra hidden costs that the landlords and letting agents will not inform you about. These costs are then passed onto you.
This happens a lot and it is very rampant when renting houses in Lagos. You find yourself having to pay accumulated electricity, water or waste fees that you knew nothing about.
Bills, Bills, Bills
Renting a house or home comes with a lot of responsibilities. So it is not just about renting the house, but you have to understand how you can sustain yourself through out the rent period. Renting houses comes with a lot of monthly or quarterly bills you have to pay. You have to plan yourself financially to deal with bills events. You might be faced with:
- Gas bills,
- Electricity bills,
- Water bills,
- Fuel Bills e.g generator
- Waste bills,
- Security bills,
- Miscellaneous bills e.g house repairs, electronics repairs etc.
Shared Apartment: Know your Room/House mates
If you decide to rent an apartment with someone else to save cost, that is absolutely fine. But it could either be a really wonderful experience or a total disaster. Knowing your roommates also entails talking to them before both of you decide to share costs. You must:
- Talk about how to split the bills
- Respect each others differences
- Condone each others bad habits etc.