Category Archives: Financial Planning

How to Purchase a Car

Purchasing a car, especially for the first time, marks a monumental and significant milestone in any person’s life. In many regards, a new car represents freedom and the ability to go wherever one pleases without having to rely on public transportation, rides from friends/family, or rideshare services such as Lyft or Uber. Nevertheless, the freedom associated with car ownership simultaneously comes with responsibility.

Before one can get to the perks and duties of owning a car, they must first make the purchase. In and of itself, this task requires considerable preparation and financial security. Going forth, readers will learn about everything which comes along with purchasing a car.

Work Out the Logistics

Before the soon-to-be car owner goes to the dealership, they need to have the required logistics completely worked out and squared away. In this case, logistics means money. A concrete budget, preference in car make/model, and costs of ownership should all be settled and taken into account, explains Nerd Wallet. The individual getting ready to purchase the car should also remember that ownership costs include gas, maintenance, insurance, and upkeep.

Purchasing a car can be a considerably costly endeavor; hence, some people opt to consult a financial advisor prior to making such a major purchase. However, if one can budget and work out the logistics on their own and without the services of a professional, they’re more than welcome to do so.

Do Your Homework

Aside from budgeting and financial planning, another important step of purchasing a car involves research and ensuring that everything checks out. Therefore, soon-to-be car owners should not only check out the cars they’re thinking of purchasing but also the company or dealership which they are buying from. Virtually everyone is familiar with the stereotypes of snake oil car salespersons, but these type of people are quite real and crafty.

Going online and checking out dealership/company reviews is always helpful; both positive and negative reviews should be considered and taken under advisement. Even after the individual has chosen a dealership and found the car of their choosing, they should always take the vehicle for a test drive.

As Bryant Motors explains, a test drive will truly allow purchasers to get an idea of the car’s quality. Moreover, any dealership who refuses to allow their customers a test drive should be avoided at all costs; prohibited tests are always a huge red flag.

A Final Word

Many soon-to-be car owners bring friends or family with them to dealerships as they prepare to purchase their own vehicles. Not only can this decision be great for moral support, but friends and family can also pick up on red flags which the individual at hand may miss due to their lack of experience.

Happy car hunting!

 

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

How to Make Money on Instagram

Many individuals dream of earning thousands of dollars each month on Instagram. While this can happen, lucrative Instagram careers generally take time and require interactive, plentiful followers. Strategic marketing, partnerships with brands, offered services, etc are some ways in which people can earn income from the use of their Instagram pages, according to Shopify

Each month, there are 800 million users who use Instagram; each day, there are 500 million people who use the platform. Furthermore, there are over 30 million businesses which advertise their products and services. The frequency of user engagement continues to surge with every passing year. With that being said, there is an abundance of business opportunities on Instagram; knowing how to go about these opportunities and being aware of the associated requirements is what truly makes the difference.

Establish an Active, Sizeable Base of Followers

Reports from The Cut state that brands on Instagram are highly unlikely to do business with users who have less than 5,000 followers. This is largely due to the fact that brands want to advertise their products or services to large audiences which henceforth increases their likelihood of obtaining sales and subsequent profits.

Now, there are some people who may attempt to solve the problem of having too few followers by simply going online and purchasing additional followers; there are countless sites which make this option possible. Nevertheless, buying Instagram followers is unlikely to put one on the path of monetizing their Instagram page.

This is due to the fact that brands keep track of rates of engagement. Engagement rates pertain to the number of comments, likes, and saves which users regularly receive on posted content. Needless to say, purchased followers are unlikely to engage with users’ posts, unlike legitimate ones.

Advertise Your Own Business

While a variety of Instagram users rely on paid partnerships with various brands, this is not the only way of earning a profit on the platform. People who currently have their own businesses and enterprises are more than welcome to promote their own products/services, create special offers, etc. The is no one exact way to promote a business, however; each individual will have to discover which strategies work best for them.

Give it Time

Despite the plethora of Instagram, money-making opportunities, they do not happen overnight. A considerable amount of groundwork is absolutely imperative, as is patience. Unfortunately, there are individuals who simply want what they want when they want it. Hence, waiting and building are not their fortes. Therefore, the failure to allow time to work its magic will subsequently throw a serious wrench in the path of eager users who desire a lucrative Instagram career.

A Final Word

Individuals who decide to pursue an Instagram career are strongly advised to have other sources of income, especially during the very beginning stages. Gathering a strong, active followership usually takes weeks, months, or even years. There are several stories of Instagram stars earning thousands of dollars each month, but that almost always comes after a hefty sum of groundwork, patience, and consistency.

 

Authored by Gabrielle Renee Seunagal

Financial Advice for Wealthy People

Wealth (officially defined as the abundance of valuable resources) can be earned and/or inherited. However, regardless of how one manages to secure wealth, if they neglect proper management and maintenance, the money is unlikely to last for very long. There are countless horror stories of people running through large sums of money in relatively brief time periods because they misused their resources and failed to maintain healthy income streams.

An art to money exists; there’s an art to earning wealth and an art to maintaining wealth. The implementation of various financial strategies moreover ensures that the production of valuable resources overpowers the consumption of valuable resources. This, in and of itself, is paramount knowledge for individuals who wish to maintain the wealth they’ve inherited or worked hard for.

Invest, Invest, Invest

According to Investopedia, some of the best investment options for wealthy people include stocks, bonds, and commercial real estate. Generally, stock market investments are considered to be riskier, due to the somewhat 50/50 odds of gaining or losing money. However, there are different strategies which people have to predict certain trends in the stock market and the wisdom in certain investments. Bonds are somewhat similar to stocks, but like the former, with the proper judgment calls, this form of investing can be quite lucrative and beneficial.

Commerical real estate investments come with many options. For instance, by purchasing various blocks of homes, the investor can then rent out rooms or apartments. Over time, the income from tenants will more than pay for the original price of the blocks. This is also a form of passive income, which is also critical for building and maintaining wealth.

Maintain Multiple Streams of Income

Hanson McClain affirms the importance of multiple income streams. By maintaining multiple streams of revenue, wealth is not only preserved, but also increased. No matter how much money someone has, there are still certain guaranteed expenses, such as the cost of living, bills, etc. Truly wealthy individuals have enough money to stop working and still live comfortably; yet, in a somewhat converse paradox, people with the foregoing levels of wealth usually continue working, or at the very least, they have passive streams of income which allow them to continue making money without trading time for profit.

Put Aside (at Least) 20% of Your Earnings

CNBC advises wealthy people to put aside at least 20% of earnings. Saving is always an excellent financial habit, regardless of one’s economic status, yet it is truly critical for wealthy people. Having an increasing amount of funds put aside in the event of emergencies or other unforeseen occurrences is always important.

Saving money furthermore promotes discipline and helps to counteract the temptation to spend, spend, spend. Remember: as one’s net worth, assets, opportunities, and bank accounts flourish, their savings should be following suit. Many wealthy people also have money in multiple places: savings accounts, on-hand cash in safe boxes, etc.

Nine times out of ten, having money stashed and saved in more than one location is advisable.

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

Financial Advice for Small Business Owners

As the world of work evolves, more and more individuals are deciding to become small business owners. Of course, there are various motivations behind this decision: some people like the idea of owning an enterprise, others may be in search of higher pay and more lucrative, professional opportunities. Nevertheless, regardless of one’s reason for starting a small business, it is quite a big step.

There are several common and critical elements amongst people who opt to go into business for themselves. The ability to make carefully thought out risks, work well with other, and make solid financial decisions can often make or break a small business. In fact, many entrepreneurs have failed at their professional endeavors due to a lack of financial acumen. Thankfully, that changes right here, right now.

Keep Your Personal and Professional Finances Separate from One Another

A distinct separation between a small business owner’s personal and professional finances is absolutely paramount. According to Fundera, the aforementioned separation is something which many entrepreneurs struggle with. Throughout the beginning phases of launching an enterprise, many small business owners feel emotionally attached and devoted to what they’re building. However, there are a variety of upsides associated with separating personal and professional finances.

First and foremost comes less hassle when it comes time for the business owner to pay taxes. Subtracting applicable business expenses from owed taxes becomes much more complex when professional finances are intertwined with personal ones. Keeping track of the money which comes and goes each month and documenting any and all expenses will pay off in the long run. Moreover, it is simply good business practice.

Additional benefits include greater plausibility as an enterprise and absolution from impacts on personal finances in the event of legal issues or other mishaps. More often than not, people think it won’t happen to them; nevertheless, unforeseen professional issues arise each and every day.

Find Out Whether You Need Insurance

Another important step for small business owners is for them to find out whether or not they need insurance, as affirmed by The Balance. In some cases, entrepreneurs are required by law to secure insurance for their businesses. For instance, any enterprises which have employees are mandated to also obtain liability insurance and workers compensation insurance.

Always Have Money Set Aside for Emergencies

In life and in business, emergencies and unsuspected occurrences take place. This is why all small business owners should take the liberty of putting aside a reasonable percentage of funds into a savings account. This money should not be touched, except in cases of absolute necessity.

Many entrepreneurs often feel the urge to reinvest earnings and funds back into their business. However, a healthy degree of reinvesting and saving can truly help a business flourish, especially in the beginning.

A Final Word

There are many ups and down which come with being a small business owner. Nevertheless, with the right attitude and application of the preceding advice, entrepreneurs will undoubtedly be setting themselves up for lifelong professional success.

 

Authored by Gabrielle Renee Seunagal

Financial Advice for Less Well-Off Individuals

Life is different for each and every person. People have different work lives, different families, and different situations. Some people make millions per year while others make thousands. Some individuals are able to independently support themselves which other may receive assistance from friends, relatives, or even the government. Despite the stereotypes and assumptions which are usually made regarding high-income people and low-income people, the great equalizer comes in the form of benefits of financial advice.

Granted, financial recommendations for someone who earns $100,000 annually will be different from a person who earns a yearly income of $10,000. Nevertheless, the following strategies and hints are great for less fortunate individuals.

Engage in Extremely Frugal Money Management

When funds are tight, frugality is absolutely paramount. While saving money can be difficult when funds are low, there are generally certain steps which can be taken to truly get the complete bang for one’s buck. KNS Financial has some excellent tips: first and foremost is seeking out banks which do not bill monthly fees or otherwise require customers to maintain a certain amount of funds within the account. There may also be certain banks which choose not to bill low-income customers with overdraft fees.

Another excellent way to stretch money is selling items which are in reasonable shape, yet not used very frequently. Some people do this by having yard sales, listing their items on Craigslist, or pawning them at applicable shops. Upon attaining these extra funds, putting them aside is a really proactive way of getting used to saving money.

Other simple, yet effective ways of frugally handling money include, but are not limited to, buying groceries on sale, walking (or carpooling), using utilities conservatively, and unplugging devices which are not being currently. This can truly add up and save money, especially when done habitually.

Look for Relatively Inexpensive Ways to Increase Income

While saving and being frugal with current funds is a great first step, it will only do so much for low-income people. The best thing that less fortunate people can do for themselves is increase their earnings. In 2018, there are a variety of available options, even for individuals who were recently laid off, currently in between jobs, or otherwise unemployed. The gig economy is a truly innovative and lucrative tool for people to take advantage of. Those who do not have computers or laptops in their home can go to the library and use the internet to create profiles on freelancing job boards such as Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr. Other options include driving for Lyft or Uber or renting out rooms on Airbnb.

A Final Word

At the end of the day, rising above poverty ultimately entails two life changes: decreasing expenses and increasing income. Ideally, doing both of these things simultaneously is the best course of action. Not only are lowered expenses and surging income a blueprint to escaping from poverty, but it also sets less fortunate people on the track to achieving wealth. Although Rome wasn’t built in a day, it did come into being with consistency and time.

The same dynamic applies to the aforementioned steps which will eventually engender the rise from financial hardship to financial prosperity.

 

By Gabrielle Seunagal