Category Archives: Budgeting

How to Build a Business Without Going into Debt

One of the greatest hurdles in building a business is capital, or lack thereof. A lack of capital and financial resources subsequently prompts aspiring entrepreneurs to believe that borrowing money is their only option. Of course, this belief is inaccurate. The pitfalls of going into debt are well-documented, but thankfully other alternatives do exist.

Build Gradually

Many ambitious and aspiring entrepreneurs aim to open their businesses as soon as possible. There is a certain excitement which often comes along with building a brand and starting a company. However, gradually building a business is one of the best ways to avoid going into debt. In many cases, this may require not giving up one’s day job until the business venture yields profit.

The process of building a business while still maintaining a day job may be initially frustrating and time-consuming. However, with patience, dedication, and consistency, the business will eventually become profitable. Following the generation of profit, the entrepreneur can then quit his or her day job. Gradually building a business is vastly more effective and beneficial than taking out loans and attempting to do everything at one time. Rome was not built in a day.

Know the Ins and Outs

Believe it or not, there are many aspiring entrepreneurs who want to go into business for themselves, yet lack critical knowledge. There are so many factors involved in starting a business; a business plan, budget, legal paperwork, website, proper management of funds, and sales tests are only the tip of the iceberg. Knowing the ins and outs means having a solid plan and being fully informed. So many people who want to go into business for themselves believe that simply borrowing money and spending during times of apparent necessity will help them. This is a common error which often engenders the downfall of businesses.

Hopeful entrepreneurs need to have their budgets in place and know exactly how much financial capital is needed to start their business.

Fund Your Own Business

At the end of the day, those who wish to go into business for themselves without also going into debt will have to fund their own enterprises. Thankfully, there are a variety of ways in which aspiring entrepreneurs can go about self-funding. Simply saving money is an option, although it can be time-consuming depending on the individual’s income and the costs of starting their business. In some cases, funding an enterprise purely through one’s own funds can take months, if not years, although it can still be done. Each hopeful business owner will have to decide whether or not this particular avenue is right for them.

However, saving money to fund one’s business is not the only option. Hopeful entrepreneurs can also consider pitching to an angel investor. Angel investors can be incredible assets for aspiring business owners, however, there are certain stipulations. True passion for the business, a solid execution plan, and awareness of the market are things which angels will look for before investing their money into a business.

A Final Word

Starting a successful enterprise is a tough venture. Starting a successful enterprise without going into any debt is even more challenging. However, with the proper preparation, knowledge, and expertise, it can be done.

 

Authored by Gabrielle Renee Seunagal

Building an Emergency Fund on a Tight Budget

The existence of a healthy emergency fund is absolutely paramount for any adult. Unexpected expenses and occurrences happen all the time, often when people least expect them. A plentiful emergency fund can, and often does, determine whether or not an individual or family is ruined by financial hardship or able to foot the unexpected bill.

Despite the importance of an emergency fund, not everyone has one. One of the most common reasons is a tight budget. Of course, saving money is critical, but how does one go about doing so when they’re living on a tight budget. Thankfully, there are various strategies which can be used to create an emergency fund, regardless of one’s budget.

Build in Moderation

Many people believe that they can only build an emergency fund by putting aside large sums of money. However, this is not necessarily true. Emergency funds can be built slowly and moderately — and should be for individuals who are on a tight budget. Putting aside $20, $10, or even $5 per week may not seem like much money, but with time and consistency, it will add up fairly quickly.

Reduce Expenses, Increase Revenue

The creation of a healthy emergency fund will inevitably require changes in money management. These changes will involve the reduction of expenses and an increase in revenue. It goes without saying that the more money one has, the more they can put towards their emergency fund. Reducing expenses and increasing revenue will also gradually allow people to put aside larger amounts of funds. Many working individuals have a tendency to consume in greater amounts when their profits increase. However, discipline is certainly required in the process of building an emergency fund.

Set Specific Goals

Believe it or not, having a specific goal in mind can simplify the process of achievement. In the case of establishing an emergency fund, having a specific dollar amount in mind for one’s emergency fund can make a nice difference. Generally, experts advise people to have three to six months worth of living expenses in savings. The amount of time required to establish this amount will depend on a variety of factors. However, each bit of money which is placed towards the emergency fund will ultimately make a difference.

A Final Word

Timing is a huge factor in the creation of an emergency fund. In most cases, the earlier one starts, the better. Even young college students can begin creating their own savings by putting modest amounts of money aside. Building an emergency fund also requires discipline. The temptation to spend money is everywhere; those who constantly dig into their savings in order to fulfill their desire for instant gratification will inevitably find themselves out of funds when a true emergency arises.

 

Authored by Gabrielle Renee Seunagal

Knowing Whether or Not to Loan Money to Someone

At one point or another, most people will find themselves in situations where they asked for a loan. The person making this request may be a relative, close friend, or even a co-worker. Loaning money comes with its own risks and stigmas; what if the borrower takes too long to return the money? What if they can’t afford to pay back the loan? Worst of all, what if they simply choose not to?

Most people feel inclined to provide aid to those who are closest to them. However, there are still certain factors which should be taken into account prior to handing out monetary loans. Keep reading if you’re interested in learning more.

Consider the Qualities of the Person

Not every person who asks for a loan should be told yes. Hence why the qualities and characteristics of the prospective borrower should be taken into account before any funds are exchanged. Integrity, personal responsibility, and even current financial standing each play a role in how likely the individual is to, not only, return the borrowed funds, but also do so in a decent amount of time.

Another point to take into account is whether or not the asker has previously borrowed money from other people. If so, has he or she paid it back in a timely manner? Believe it or not, borrowing history tends to be quite indicative of an individual’s forthcoming habits, as they pertain to money.

Look into Creating a Legal Contract

While amounts of borrowed funds can vary, WikiHow advises lenders to draw up legally binding contracts; this especially comes in handy when hefty sums of money are being loaned. This can be done by having the borrower sign the contract and also ensuring that the document is enforceable via the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC).

Instituting a clear payment plan and eventually getting the contract notarized are also critical steps towards legalizing the form. Although going through the process of creating a legal contract may seem like a bit much to some individuals, it can truly come in handy later on down the line. Moreover, if a prospective borrower is unwilling to sign a legally binding contract, they may not be the best person to loan money to.

Trust Your Instincts

At the end of the day, each person is tasked with the decision of whether or not they want to loan money to a friend or relative who asks. Considering their qualities and characters can be incredibly beneficial, as can creating a legal contract; however, at the end of the day, your instincts should always be the determining factor.

No matter how good or trustworthy someone appears to be on paper, if your gut tells you to turn down their request to borrow money, do so. You are under no obligation to hand out loans; furthermore, you must first help yourself before you can truly help others.

A Final Word

Hopefully, the preceding advice will prove helpful to anyone who is undecided about whether or not they should loan money to someone they know.

 

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

How to Financially Prepare to Leave Your Parents’ Home

As the cost of living becomes more and more expensive, many young adults are living at home with their parents or other relatives. However, many people reach a point and time where they wish to live on their own. This is quite understandable and to be expected; however, leaving home and venturing out into the real world requires serious, calculated preparation. This is not something which should be done carelessly or on a whim.

Anyone who is thinking about leaving their parents’ homes will benefit from the following pieces of advice. Not only do they provide insight regarding this particular situation, but the forthcoming tools can also be applied to achieving general, economic success.

Know the Cost of Living

In general, the cost of living greatly varies according to one’s geographical location. Bearing that in mind, young people who wish to leave their parents’ homes should first know how much it will cost them to live on their own, explains Money Crashers.

This means doing research and looking into not only the costs of rent, but also utilities, groceries, transportation, and miscellaneous fees. Many young people may be shocked to learn that independently supporting themselves is more costly than they thought.

Have A Decent Amount of Funds in Savings

Even in the best of situations, unexpected events have a way of popping up. This is why The Balance advises young people to have extra funds put aside in case of emergencies. Car accidents, damage to valuables, and other unforeseen occurrences happen each day and preparation is paramount. Having a few thousand dollars put aside in cases of emergencies is a good idea and will likely pay off sooner or later.

Try to Minimize Use of Credit

One of the biggest financial mistakes people make is overusing credit cards. They continuously swipe their cards and are then unable to pay the bill when it comes due. This leads to subsequent interest charges which quickly pile up on top of the original debt. Before you know it, interest outweighs income and people sink further and further into financial hardship. For this reason, Mint urges young people to minimize their use of credit and reserve credit cards for only emergencies.

Of course, doing this requires a degree of discipline and stable, regular income, but reducing one’s use of credit is much better than the alternative.

A Final Word

In many regards, moving out of your parents’ home and becoming financially independent is a rite of passage. The majority of society also views this milestone as the true beginning of adulthood. By knowing one’s living costs, saving money, and using credit as infrequently as possible, young people will more than likely do well for themselves as they venture into the world of adulthood and independent living.

 

Authored by Gabrielle Renee Seunagal

How to Financially Prepare for a Recession

Nobody likes to think about recessions and all the havoc which they can bring upon a society and to the economy. Nevertheless, many people have lived through and experienced the plights of recessions. Although they take a toll on virtually everyone, members of society who are most vulnerable and least prepared tend to suffer on considerably higher levels. This is what makes financial preparation so absolutely paramount.

Failure to plan is ultimately a plan for failure. However, the following steps will allow people to not only prepare for a recession, but also protect the businesses and funds which they have garnered over the years.

Consistently Save Money

As stated by Money Talks News, constantly putting aside money always make a big difference, but it especially comes in handy during a recession. Financial advisors currently recommend for people to put aside at least six months to one year’s worth of living expenses. This is something which a surprisingly high percentage of people fail to do. Many of them believe that a crisis will not befall them, but a safety net always comes in handy. Consistently saving a certain percentage of funds from each paycheck makes a difference.

Saving money prior to a recession can truly determine the difference between survival and homelessness.

Look Into the Gig Economy

There are many opportunities which exist within the gig economy. Driving for Lyft/Uber, renting out rooms on Airbnb, content writing, graphic design work, and more are all opportunities which people can and should take advantage of. Not only does this allow for individuals to create an additional revenue stream, but funds earned in the gig economy can be put into savings, bills, etc.

Every person will find that money and savings are their greatest economical allies, especially in the face of a pending recession.

Pay off Any Incurred Debts

Another important thing to do in preparation for a recession is paying off debts. No matter the state of the economy, credit card companies will continue to charge interest for unpaid balances. Over time, this can truly chip away at your income; besides, any money which goes towards interest is lost income which could have otherwise gone towards savings or bills. It’s also worth noting that paying interest does not decrease one’s debt, but merely lessens the fees for not paying one’s debt on time.

Money is an incredibly valuable resource; it becomes infinitely more valuable during times when the economy is experiencing a recession. For this reason, everyone should be actively working to become debt-free.

A Final Word

Ideally, people should be saving money, creating additional revenue streams, and paying off debts regardless of whether or not a recession lies in the near future. Being in the strongest financial state is always the best way to set oneself up for success. While economic recessions might prompt stronger precautions, you can never go wrong when you are in good financial health.

 

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal