Building An Emergency Fund – A Vital Part of Financial Planning

612

None of us have the ability to foresee the future or predict the hurdles which lie ahead of us. This makes building an emergency fund a financial priority. Building an emergency fund is healthy for your financial well being, since you’re rarely given advance notice of a setback or an accident which will keep you out of work for an extended period. It is also a safety net that can save you from bankruptcy or severe financial hardships in the event of an unexpected change in your income or expenses.

Personal Finance, Planning, Financial Planning, Emergency Fund, Rainy Day Fund, Worst Case

None of us have the ability to foresee the future or predict the hurdles which lie ahead of us. This makes building an emergency fund a financial priority. Building an emergency fund is healthy for your financial well being, since you’re rarely given advance notice of a setback or an accident which will keep you out of work for an extended period. It is also a safety net that can save you from bankruptcy or severe financial hardships in the event of an unexpected change in your income or expenses.

Housing a small rainy day fund should be a vital part of an individual’s financial goals. This is of high importance if you don’t already have readily available funds in your account for covering any unanticipated expenses. They provide financial security because they give you funds to fall back on if you become ill, or if you or your spouse loses your job, you incur large medical bills, or have an unexpected large bill such as a major car or home repair. You do not want to end up in a situation where you have to buy daily necessities on credit and end up payments on groceries you bought two years back on credit, with a further 10-18% interest on it.

Saving your money in an small account for emergencies is definitely a better alternative to taking a loan or cashing in your long-term investments. If you take a loan, there is the additional burden of paying interest. Encashment of your investments before maturity means not only will you lose out the interest, but also some part of the original investment. This will also set you back significantly in your overall financial plan.

Success at building an emergency fund depends on consistency of saving money on a regular basis, and resisting the urge to dip into this rainy day fund for non-emergencies. This money should be kept separate from the general savings account. Otherwise you will be tempted to dip into these monies even if you simply run over your budget at a certain point. A substantial part of this emergency fund account should be invested in low risk funds. This ensures that your investment does not lose its value in case you need the money. Also, it should be extremely liquid, to give you access to the cash easily and quickly if you need it.

The size of the special savings account will depend on your personal situation. People often keep three to six months?salary in the reserve. But you will have to decide on an appropriate amount based factors such as your dependants and fixed monthly expenses.

If you are single with no obligations, and have a reliable support system of friends or relatives during a financial crisis, you might not need a substantial amount stashed in this fund. This is opposed to someone who needs to pay nursing costs for his aging parents and supporting a young family. The more people you support, the more likely you are to have unexpected or unplanned costs.

While making a decision about an emergency fund, you should also take into account the degree of difficulty you’d have in finding a new job if you lost the present one. In case of a two-income household, the contribution of both parties should be weighed while calculating how much you should keep aside.

You may not be able to gather your emergency fund money together at once. Treat it as a financial goal and add to the kitty over time. If you get a tax refund, put it in your special rainy day account. Maybe a part of the bonus at work!

no credit check loans by jacaranda finance. No paperwork, no early payout fees. Apply now! ICO rating

Do You Know What’s Going On With Your Pension Plan?

481

Provides information and tips on how you can stay informed of the changes to your pension plan.

pension plan, pension, employee pension plan,retirement,retirement fund

That’s a good question, do you know whether or not your pension plan is stable, and if so will it remain that way? Well, if you’re part of your employers pension plan, you should find out the answers to these questions. Once you find out, stay informed about your pension plan.

You say you know you have a pension plan but really don’t know what this is. A pension plan is a retirement account that your employer contributes funds as part of your future retirement. The amount paid to your retirement fund by your employer is based on the number of years you have worked and the amount of income you have earned.

How long will it take for me to become eligible for my employer’s pension plan? It is normally between 3-5 years that you become eligible for the plan offered by your employer.

What if I no longer work for the employer after I become eligible will I still be vested? Yes.

I hear some employers have terminated their pension plans, why is this? Some employers are finding it very expensive to continue with their pension plans due to: increased number of retirees, low interest rates and instability of the stock market.

My employer is terminating our pension plan, how will this affect me? The government agency Pension Benefit Guaraty Corporation will pick up pension payments when the employer defaults. Note, this agency pays a certain amount of your pension benefits on an annual basis. Unfortunately in most cases you will receive less for your annual pension amount then you would normally have received via your employer.

Is there any way to know if my employer’s pension plan is in trouble? If your company is showing signs of financial trouble, normally the first thing to go is the pension plan. If you are trying to find out if your employer may be headed for financial trouble consider checking the following: financial news information on your company, newspaper financial section, stock market, business financial magazines and the internet.

I just recently found out that an employer I worked for a few years ago just went out of business. How would I find out about the status of my pension plan that I had with this employer, I’ve been unable to contact them directly? If your past or former employer defaulted on it’s pension plan, check the Pension Benefit Guaraty Corporation website at www.pbgc.gov to see if this program has taken over the handling of your former employer’s plan.

Stay on top of your pension plan, by keeping yourself informed of your plan’s current status. This is important because your pension is part of your retirement for your future! If you don’t stay informed about your pension, you may loose valuable funds that are important for your future retirement funds.

Boost your savings

444

It is general knowledge that residents of the United Kingdom are typically not savers.

loans, uk finance

It is general knowledge that residents of the United Kingdom are typically not savers. They tend to spend much more than they save; according to studies, saving money is not as popular as it once was. Saving is extremely important to the quality of life you expect to live in the future. Think about it, what would happen if your car suddenly quit working? What would you do if the heater or refrigerator within your home just decided to give up one day? Imagine a situation where an emergency occurred and you had to travel immediately for some reason, what would you do?

Saving your money within an account can be an excellent source of immediate funds for an unexpected emergency. It makes a great deal of sense to simply put away money into an interest bearing account for these types of events, instead of having to take out a loan or bill a credit card for them. If you do either of these things will result in more debt and higher interest payments. Many experts believe that you need to set your priorities in the right direction and you should attempt to, over time, save an equal to your salary over a three month period.

Many people may find this a lot of money to put back when bills need to be paid, that is fine, consider saving as much as you possibly can without setting yourself into a deeper hole. If you simply saved ?00 a week over a three-month period you would have saved ?,200 (not including any interest accrued), that would likely pay for a broke refrigerator or a significant amount on a new or repaired heater. There are many different types of savings accounts that you can consider, some of which do not require substantial deposits.

Typically, a banking institution will access a tax on the interest prior to adding it into your savings account, for example a taxpayer at the basic rate level will be accessed twenty (20) percent, while a taxpayer at a higher rate will be accessed forty (40) percent. For those who do not pay taxes, no taxes are deducted from the interest. For those who are non-taxpayers, you will be required to fill out a R85 form, this will allow you to avoid the taxes and receive the total interest accrued on the account.

One thing people should definitely consider is an ISA (Individual Savings Account), the government of the United Kingdom, created these types of accounts in efforts to encourage residents to save their money. In this account, they allow you to save your money in an amount of ?,000 or less yearly, that will be considered tax-free.

5 Simple Ways To Lower Your Monthly Bills ?And Save Lots Of Money!

430

Here you’re going to learn several ways to save money every month by lowering your monthly bills.

There are lots of ways to save money, no matter how much of it you have – or don’t have!

Having struggled for many years paying my own bills, I learned many ways to save money. From simple things like food, gas, and clothing, to bigger expenses, like insurance and your mortgage.

All you need to know is where to look to find the savings.

Several Ways To Save Money

save money, get out of debt, monthly bills

Here you’re going to learn several ways to save money every month by lowering your monthly bills.

There are lots of ways to save money, no matter how much of it you have – or don’t have!

Having struggled for many years paying my own bills, I learned many ways to save money. From simple things like food, gas, and clothing, to bigger expenses, like insurance and your mortgage.

All you need to know is where to look to find the savings.

Several Ways To Save Money

The first thing you need to do is eliminate ALL of your unnecessary expenses:

?eating out on the weekends
?buying lunch at work every day
?magazine and newspaper subscriptions (especially those you can get online and at the local library)
?cable TV (you’d be amazed at how many other ways you’ll find to spend your time once you get rid of cable TV)
?groceries (you can save lots of money with coupons and specials.)

It’s OK to reward yourself once in a while, but if you are really looking to get out of debt faster, you owe it to yourself to save every single penny you can!

To find other ways to reduce your expenses, take a close look at your checkbook and credit card statements. You should also call your credit card companies to see if they will lower your interest rates, even if it is only for a short time.

You’ll be amazed at how many ways you can save money, especially once you start looking carefully at how you spend your money every month.

Shop Around For The Lowest Prices

For those expenses you can’t eliminate, it’s time to start shopping around for the best prices.

Once I realized you can shop around for just about ANYTHING you spend money on every month, I learned how to save myself SEVERAL HUNDRED DOLLARS each and every month!

In fact, by shopping around I ended up saving myself more than $750 a year on car insurance alone!

The same is true of many of your monthly expenses – like long distance telephone service, internet service, all types of insurance, mortgages, and in some places even your utility bills.

It DOESN’T take any special skills. All it takes is a few clicks and you can save yourself a bunch of money in no time at all!

So, if you’d like to save yourself lots of money every month – and who doesn’t – start shopping around and looking for ways to lower your monthly bills right away!

7 Tips on Preventing Identity Theft

366

In the course of the day, you do many activities that put your personal information at risk – from writing a check at the store to charging merchandise in person or over the phone. You may not think twice about these transactions, but others might.

7 Tips on Preventing Identity Theft

In the course of the day, you do many activities that put your personal information at risk – from writing a check at the store to charging merchandise in person or over the phone. You may not think twice about these transactions, but others might.

Identity theft – when a perpetrator assumes someone’s identity for personal or financial gain, like stealing a credit card to make financial transactions in the victim’s name – is the fastest-growing crime in America.

According to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, there were almost 10 million cases of identity theft in 2004, which cost consumers $5 billion.

The National Citizens’ Crime Prevention Campaign, sponsored by the National Crime Prevention Council, aims to educate consumers about what they can do to prevent identity theft. The council offers the following tips.

* Do not give out your personal information unless you initiate the contact or know the person or company with whom you are dealing. Also, never disclose personal information, such as a Social Security number or bank account number, in response to an email. Legitimate businesses will not ask you to do this.

* Do not disclose your credit card number to an online vendor unless it is encrypted and the site is secure. Look at the first part of the Web address on your browser. It should read “https://.”

* Do not write your Social Security number or telephone number on checks or credit card receipts.

* Remove all documents with personal information from your hard drive before discarding your computer or sending it in for repair.

* Shred discarded documents, including preapproved credit card applications, bank statements, store receipts and utility bills. “Dumpster divers” can gain access to your personal information if such items are thrown in the trash.

* Cancel all credit cards that have not been used in the last six months. Open credit is a prime target for thieves.

* Order your credit report at least twice a year and report any mistakes to the credit reporting agency in writing.

If you are a victim of identity theft, contact your local police department as soon as possible. If your identity was stolen in one jurisdiction but used in another, you may have to report the crime in both jurisdictions.

Financial Planner Basics

582

What is financial planning, and why it is crucial for you.

Even if you do not think you are a financial planner, you better start thinking like one fast. In the United States, there is an approximate of 5.6 million people who are either self-made millionaires or financially independent. And what is so hard to believe about that statistic, you ask? This is because that is only about 5% of the American population.

The remaining 95% of the American population (we’re talkin…

financial planner, financial planning

What is financial planning, and why it is crucial for you.

Even if you do not think you are a financial planner, you better start thinking like one fast. In the United States, there is an approximate of 5.6 million people who are either self-made millionaires or financially independent. And what is so hard to believe about that statistic, you ask? This is because that is only about 5% of the American population.

The remaining 95% of the American population (we’re talking about 106.4 million people here!) are not only not rich, but most of them are facing financial disasters, either owing to poor financial planning or foolish spending!. This is why you should start thinking like a financial planner. Financial planning is not so complicated, and it can make a huge difference in your life.

As the saying goes, “failing to plan is planning to fail”. Much of the same can be said if you do not plan your finances well, it does not matter if you are a high earner, you still need financial planner skills, to keep you form harms way and to ensure that your life will be financially secured.

The fact of the matter is that financial planning Is Not An Option, most of us need to think ahead today, and you should practice your financial planner skills right away to enjoy the money you make today in the future.

The basics of financial planning is to keep all your finance in order, this is very basic advice, alright. However, more often than not, we would rather concentrate on other things in life such as health, studies, work and more.

Think about the things you want to achieve in life, and how you are going to get there, financial planner always set his goals and puts some order in his thought before starting to actually put the wheels in motion. Financial planning can include buying a house, paying for your children education and thinking about a retirement fund.

Financial planning will help you use your current pay check and your saving to start working on a program that will give you peace of mind on the financial level, a financial planner will plan a budget according to every household’s expenditure budgeted and a savings plan drawn up, this will help you spend your money wisely and effectively.

A financial planner will consider having savings invested in an investment vehicle that pays higher returns than the normal bank account, it will add in some muscle to your savings and help you reach your financial goals in a shorter period of time.

By starting your retirement planning now (not later!), you can gauge how much money you will need to maintain your current lifestyle and where this money will come from. Many people, especially those who have just started working, always put their retirement planning on the back burner for reasons such as “I just started work?and “Oh, I am still young?

Many, however, fail to realize that by starting early to save for retirement, you will be able to save and invest more due to the magic of “compounding interest? provided that you invest your savings wisely. Maybe you do not have to wait until the age of 65 to retire. For all you know, by the age of 40, you might have already reached your financial independence and do not have to worry about getting up early to clock in or work until late hours because there are deadlines to meet.

Financial Aid Award Letters 101

311

You have been accepted to college. Now, how are you going to pay for it?

Financial Aid Award Letters 101

You have been accepted to college. Now, how are you going to pay for it?

For college-bound students and families, this is the moment of truth when they find out the amount of money being offered by a specific college. Each school will offer different award packages, which can include a combination of grants, scholarships, work study or student loans. Students and families should carefully read all of the information contained in the award letters and clearly understand the letters’ terms and conditions. Equally important, try not to panic if the amount of money awarded is not enough to cover college expenses.

“The financial aid award package is not the end of the road by any means,” says Martha Holler, spokesperson for Sallie Mae, the nation’s No. 1 paying-for-college company. “Never simply settle for a school based on cost alone. With roughly $143 billion in financial aid awarded last year, financial assistance is out there for students to attend their dream school.”

In addition to thoroughly reading each award letter received, students and families should ask themselves the following:

• What are the enrollment requirements for grants and scholarships?

• Are the awards for one year or all four years?

• Is the required GPA to maintain the awards realistic?

• If student employment is part of the financial aid package, what types of jobs are available and what rate of pay is typical?

“Above all, it is important for students to compare their award packages on an apples-to-apples basis,” says Holler. “While one letter may total a higher amount, it may be more heavily weighted with loans and not free money, like grants and scholarships.”

Holler adds that while most colleges rarely negotiate or match another school’s award package, they should be alerted if a family’s financial circumstances have changed. In that case, families should contact the financial office as quickly as possible for a reassessment.

Earn Extra Cash By Taking Part In Surveys

482

I have just heard about another way of making a little bit of extra money. This is by taking part in different surveys for a range of companies who are looking to find out more about their customers or potential customers. You may think just like I did that this would hardly be worth your time or effort, however you may be surprised when you realise you much these companies are willing to pay.

surveys, money, step-daughter, friend, meal, banking, play, earn, pay, customers, companies, school

I have just heard about another way of making a little bit of extra money. This is by taking part in different surveys for a range of companies who are looking to find out more about their customers or potential customers. You may think just like I did that this would hardly be worth your time or effort, however you may be surprised when you realise you much these companies are willing to pay.

A few days ago a friend of my step-daughters came round to our house to play. They are both twelve years of age and have known each other since primary school. This friend also stopped at our house for her evening meal and while at the dining table, eating her food, she started up quite an interesting conversation. She asked my step-daughter if she would be interested in joining her to take part in a survey which would be about the subject of childrens banking.

I started to ask this girl, who is called Emma, what would be involved. Emma replied that a lady would be going round to her house on Saturday morning and would be asking her a series of questions about banking, for example who she banks with and how much money she attempts to save as a twelve year old. She continued that the meeting would last around an hour and a half for which she would be paid ?0. If she then also kept a form of diary for a week, she would then receive another ?0.

My step-daughter suddenly became very interested and asked me whether she would be able to go aswell, I told her that she could.

Emma then told our family that she regularly took part in these surveys and had been introduced to the idea by a friend of her mothers. She stated that on average she made around ?00 a month from taking part and completing these surveys, not bad for a twelve year old. I joked by asking her whether I could also go around on the Saturday. Emma replied that this survey was only aimed at schoolchildren but that her parents also regularly took part in other surveys and that she would let me know when the next one was going to take place.

The Saturday arrived and I took my step-daughter to Emma’s house. I started talking to her parents while I waited for the meeting to finish. Her parents then told me about their own experiences of completing different surveys and stated that even though it is not a massive amount of money that it is a lot for what you have to do. They also said that it helped them to pay a number of bills each month.

My step-daughter really enjoyed the meeting and came out kissing her ?0. It beats washing your car, she said to me with a huge grin on her face.

Bad Ways To Save Money

578

There are ways to save money that you just shouldn’t use. Don’t try these at home.

ways to save money, save money, money

Finding new ways to save money on almost anything you buy is almost like getting a raise. Maybe it’s even better. When you save twenty dollars on a coat you get to keep the whole twenty dollars. When you make twenty dollars more on your paycheck, you lose five dollars or more of it to taxes.

Finding ways to save money can go too far, though. In a recent newsletter on how to save money, one contributor suggested getting free flowers for weddings by picking up the leftover flowers at a cemetery. She didn’t say how you can tell which are “leftovers.”

I thought I was cheap! The following are gleaned from real suggestions on ways to save money sent in to “frugality” websites and newsletters. Some cheapskates don’t seem to notice that an extra hour at work might put them further ahead than many hours of penny-pinching.

Ways To Save Money – Don’t Try These At Home

A mother confessed that she makes her kids stuff their pockets with the free ketchup, salt and other condiment packets every time they were in a fast food restaurant. Oh, if only that were all, but no. She has the kids squeeze the contents of the packets into regular jars of ketchup and mustard too. She says she hasn’t bought these condiments in years. Pride is found in strange places.

One creative penny pincher found a way to save money on car washes. He washes his entire car using the squeegee at the gas station. Hmm… I wonder if he takes the toilet paper rolls home from their rest rooms too.

Would you like a free umbrella? One man suggests getting one at the lost and found department of any large public library. You just tell them you lost a black umbrella. They will almost certainly have several, from which you can pick the best one and claim it as your own. What if they have no black umbrellas? I guess we’ll have to wait for this guy to publish a “lost umbrella color frequency chart,” in order to know which color to try for the next day.

Several contributors to these newsletters know how to save on their long distance phone bills. The most common suggestion is to call people long-distance when you know they won’t be home, and leave a message for them. Then they pay for it when they return your call. I suppose if your timing is off, and they answer when you call, you can quickly hang up on them and try again later.

I don’t recommend any of these as ways to even the most frugal person. Apart from the ethical issues with some of them, they can be lumped in along with washing and re-using plastic wrap – a time wasting frugality. On the other hand, they are fun to read, and I suppose we could view such measures as cheap entertainment as well. Perhaps you can turn off the lights to save money on electricity and tell the kids it’s a game of hide-and-seek, or train your dog to beg from the neighbors so you don’t have to feed him.

I wonder how many people actually pay for magazines and newsletters that tell us ways to save money? Do these magazines advise that readers go to the library to read them, or stand reading them in the aisle at the bookstore for a hour? Those are some sure ways to save money.

Understanding Retirement

Financial Literacy And How To Successfully Plan For Your Retirement.

For a lot of people, the salaries they get helps them push forward in life. This is because every month or week they expect something to come into their bank account and this helps them in planning how to spend the cash that they receive. Even when receiving the same salaries, some people will always complain that it is not satisfactory while others appreciate it. The satisfaction or dissatisfaction is dependent on the how people plan for their cash as this page explains.

After many years however, a person cannot depend on a salary because they are not able to do their job as they were some few years before. This calls for retirement or resigning from a job because of the age. The retirement age in most cases is usually set in a written law which can be changed depending with circumstances.

Retirement age can be determined by a number of factors with one of them being the career an individual is in. Retirement is not always the decision of an organization because many people have had to retire just because they want to do it even before the stipulated date. With the right financial back up, retirement can be an easy task for the individual to live through this sunset years.

This being the case, it calls for a lot of planning in the working years for a person to enjoy their lives after retirement. However, one of the top priorities when it comes to planning should be financial planning and this is because it will help an individual sustain their lives during this period when they are not receiving regular financial income from their employers. Studies have shown that those who are not able to plan for their retirement years often get life frustration and regrets often ending their lives miserable in the process. The following guidelines should be followed when planning for life after retirement.

Studies have shown that those who save money as a way of planning for their future have an easy life when they retire because they have something to support their lifestyle even then. Investing part of the money that you make regularly will ensure cash flow during the time when one is not making money from salaries and wages.

A merry-go-round kind of investment with close friends is very important because it will ensure that even when no salaries are expected, money will come in through this. When the family members of a retiring person are not independent financially, they will develop a habit of dependency to the little that is left for the retiree and this in many cases is not good.

Experts cab be hired to help in plotting the usage of money acquired over the years when a person retires. An individual could also make use of the availability of financial planning applications that help in this digital era.