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Renting A House? Here Are 7 Things You Should Consider

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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.

This article originally appeared on Piggybank.ng. Follow them on Facebook , Twitter , and Instagram

Personal Finance

The Main Benefits of Being Financially Independent

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Being financially independent means different things to different people.

To some, it means retiring and traveling the world, relaxing at home, or doing whatever you love.

For others, it means having the financial stability to have at your back, while you continue your career or business.

In general, financial independence is defined as when your passive income is higher than your living expenses. Here’s the issue though…

It can be a moving target.

You need different levels of income at different points in your life. Let me explain

How Much Money Do I Need?

If you are 18 years old and have no debts, are healthy, and can get by with little, the amount of income you actually need to get by is very low.

Eventually, you might get married, have a family, a dog, etc. So, the income you need to sustain this is a lot higher.

Then, the kids move out and you downsize. You need a lot less again.

Then you start to get older and you find your health failing you. Your costs will go up once again.

So, at a minimum, I’ve already outlined 4 different points in your life where your “financial independence number” will go up or down.

Regardless of the difficulty in calculating exactly how much you’ll need, there still are a lot of benefits to strive for financial independence. Let’s take a look at those.

Freedom of Choice

I already alluded to it a bit, but the biggest benefit to financial independence is freedom.

As soon as your passive income is higher than your wages, you’ll find that you don’t need that job. You can continue to work, but you don’t have to. So, all the stress is gone.

Same goes if you’re a business owner. You can continue to grow your business if you want, but you don’t need to.

You could opt to walk away from it and do something else entirely. It allows you could leave the high paying job and find a job that is more rewarding.

Whatever you choose to do, it’s because you’ve achieved Financial Independence.

You’ll Be Able to Make More Money

You can never unlock your true potential as long as you are a slave to your job or business. It’s hard to pursue other opportunities when you can’t afford to leave your job.

As an employee, you can earn money by working more, getting a raise, or getting better positions. But, you are actually very limited because most of your time is dedicated to the job.

And that brings us to the heart of financial independence – time. The most valuable commodity is time, and if your time is spent working for someone else, it isn’t spent finding new opportunities for growth.

By growing your passive income to the point where you don’t have to work anymore, you can unlock that time and harness all of your intelligence and creative power to pursue more valuable endeavors.

You’ll Actually Get to Retire

If you haven’t realized it yet, Social Security is going to go broke, pensions can disappear overnight, and even state or municipal government benefits can be slashed to pennies on the dollar.

While some people will be able to retire with these, we should not depend on them entirely. Doing so will make it far less likely that you’ll have the security you need or want in retirement.

But, retirement isn’t something many of us worry about until it’s far too late. We don’t save or prepare, then find ourselves unable to retire.

So many people work until they are no longer able to work and they are forced to retire. By then, they have no way to actually enjoy any of their ‘retirement.’

If you are financially independent at a young age, you are kind of already retired. Additionally, you can continue to work and just save everything to get to a point where you are truly prepared for retirement.

You might even be able to afford to retire early and enjoy your later years to their full potential.

Passive Income is Like Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment insurance covers only a portion of your lost wages. But, if your passive income is already at or above your wages, then it’s like a really good insurance policy.

The fact is that many industries are changing and advancing, which is leaving its older workers behind. Having financial independence means that you’ve got something to fall back on and can take your time to find new work without worrying.

You Can Plan

A lot of people never plan ahead. While they might plan their next vacation, wedding, or Black Friday shopping spree, most people aren’t planning for their finances next month let alone 20 years from now.

A lot of that comes from the belief that it’s impossible to get ahead, be successful, wealthy, and secure. Planning ahead would just be depressing.

But, if you work to attain financial independence, planning for the future becomes fun. Who doesn’t want to think about the future when the world is your oyster?

You’ll Be Less Stressed

Money is one of the leading causes of worry and stress in our society and in most households.

Having more passive income can help with your finances, allowing you to enjoy the company of your spouse and children. It can allow your family to actually enjoy each other rather than always being stressed over paying bills.

Why Aren’t You Chasing F.I.?

What is holding you back from pursuing financial independence? Comment below.

This article originally appeared on IdealREI.  Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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Personal Finance

How You Can Do MORE With Your Money

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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.

Investment Options

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.

Enjoying Yourself

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.

Mini Business

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!

This article originally appeared on IdealREI.  Follow them on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

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Personal Finance

INTERVIEW: Ex-NY Giants Star Shares His Business Philosophy

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Athletes going broke is a popular phenomenon, despite their hefty paycheck. But not all do. In this video, Victor Cruz, former NY Giants star breaks down his philosophy on business and financial planning — and how not to go #broke.

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