Category Archives: Uncategorized

How to Purchase a Home

Purchasing a home can be an exciting and monumental event in any person’s life, especially for the first time. The anticipation of owning a house and enjoying all of the associated upsides and benefits is understandably exhilarating.

However, in the midst of all the excitement should be a degree of awareness and extensive preparation. Purchasing a home is one of the most costly and time-consuming events in the lives of most individuals. Therefore, mindfulness of the forthcoming advice (and governing oneself accordingly) is extremely important and will reap long-term benefits.

Be Sure to Have Your Ducks in a Row

One of the most common mistakes of aspiring homeowners is their failure to fully prepare before going forward without dotting their Is and crossing their Ts. Bankrate explains that before any individual purchases a home, they should increase their credit score, determine an affordable budget, save a considerable amount of funds must aside, and then be sure to get preapproved for a mortgage.

It’s also important for aspiring homeowners to understand that following the foregoing steps to prepare for homeownership can potentially take years; the duration of time especially depends upon the state of the individual’s financial health. Nevertheless, it is better to wait a few years and then purchase a home (at the right time) than to immediately buy a house without the proper safeguards and become subject to financial hardship. So many people who find themselves in debt due to poor economic choices never get out that hole. Having your ducks in a row will eventually pay off.

Expect the Unexpected

Even after having the right credit score, budget, funds, and mortgage all lined up, expecting the unexpected is still absolutely paramount, affirms CNBC. Purchasing a home often comes with additional, associated fees, such as county tax, state tax, and property tax. Then, there’s maintenance fees, repair costs, and expenses which are linked to furnishing the home. Suffice it to say, all of these matters should be anticipated and prepared for. Similarly to most situations, it’s always better to have the extra money put aside and not need it, than to need extra money and not have it.

Consider the Physical Environment

Another important aspect of purchasing a home is the environment, as noted by Nerd Wallet. No matter how great a house is, the environment always makes a difference. Crime rates and proximity to banks, grocery stores, and other places of business are also very important. Moreover, aspiring homeowners should assess the quality of the neighborhood and other surrounding homes. If all looks great and the funds are there, go for it.

If the physical environment is not up to par, you might be better off continuing your search in other locations. There are always better, more desirable options.

 

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

How to Hire the Right Employees

Hiring the right employees is one of the most important factors for any entrepreneur or business owner. Many individuals who are responsible for running an enterprise often find themselves wondering about the best ways to hire the most qualified candidates. Granted, there are some age-old tips: perform background checks on potential prospects, require references, and determine whether or not the candidate will add value to the company.

Still, merely following the aforementioned, basic tips is not enough. Employees do greatly contribute to the success or failure of a business. Therefore, business owners who make the right hires will ultimately be enriching themselves in the long run.

The following steps will prove to be extremely helpful to entrepreneurs as they strive to hire the best and brightest employees.

Listen to the Prospective Employee

Although listening to prospective employees seems like an almost absurdly obvious hiring tip, it is missed more often than some people would like to think. As explained by Entrepreneur, hearing out the candidate, taking note of how they speak, whether or not they’re articulate, and the other ways in which they carry themselves can be very telling. Moreover, listening to the prospective employee also allows the business owner to get a sense of how well the candidate would fit in with other workers who are employed by the company and whether or not they would bring value.

On another note, asking open-ended questions which require more than a simple “yes” or “no” answer is also a conducive strategy for gaining insight about a prospective employee.

Have the Prospective Employee Complete a “Job Audition”

As explained by Recruiter Box, a job audition is simply a task which mirrors the work duties which a candidate would assume responsibility for, should he or she pass the application process. Not only do job auditions test the prospective employee’s professed skills, but this type of audition furthermore allows the business owner to observe the quality of work and how well this individual would do with their potential forthcoming job responsibilities.

Having the candidate deliver an impromptu sales pitch, create the content for a landing page, etc are just a few examples of small, yet meaningful job auditions. Obviously, the assigned audition should pertain to the work for which the prospective employee would be responsible for, should they get the job.

Maintain a Strong Business Brand

There’s an old saying which essentially states that people attract what they are; in other words, like attracts like. In business, this principle is especially applicable. It’s also why maintaining a strong, high-quality brand in business is so paramount. By maintaining such a great brand, entrepreneurs will find that they are attracting some of the best prospective employees and candidates, confirms Business News Daily.

A Final Word

When it’s all said and done, the right employees and workers can be great and incredibly valuable contributions to any enterprise or business. Listening to the candidate, assigning responsible job auditions, and maintaining an ongoingly strong business brand will reap both short-term and long-term benefits for entrepreneurs.

 

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

Financial Advice for Senior Citizens

As people get older in age, they may believe that their acquired money habits will continue to serve them well. While decades of proper financial choices certainly have their merits, there are still particular strategies which senior citizens can benefit from.

Senior citizens will inevitably witness changes in their lifestyles, circumstances, and other factors; this is natural and to be expected. Therefore, proper preparation, acute awareness, and adherence to the forthcoming advice will prove helpful.

Manage Money Conservatively

According to U.S. News, one of the best financial habits for senior citizens is handling their money frugally. Since older adults have lived longer (and likely had exposure to more experiences), chances are that they’ve also accumulated more capital than their younger counterparts. However, with higher amounts of funds comes a greater need for protection.

Many older people may feel compelled to help those who are struggling, especially if they happen to be friends or relatives. While generosity can be great, moderation is paramount. Constantly dishing out funds or always paying someone’s way can backfire. Furthermore, older adults should be careful about loaning out money. Some experts recommend only loaning out funds which one can afford to lose; this is because many people who borrow money are not in the best financial state. Therefore, they may not be able to pay back the borrowed capital in a desirable amount of time…if ever.

It is absolutely imperative for senior citizens to wisely and conservatively manage their money. It will immensely pay off for them.

Shield Yourself from Fraud and Money Scams

Countless research has affirmed that scammers, grifters, and other dishonest individuals view older people as easier targets. This is partially attributed to the fact that these individuals may not be as savvy with technology. There are countless ways in which con artists attempt to steal money; being prepared and guarded is gravely paramount and always an effective safety precaution. Even older people who are never targeted will feel better by simply knowing that they’re covered.

U.S. News advised senior citizens to put certain alerts on their bank accounts, block certain phone numbers, and ensure that credit cards and debit cards are programmed with particular safety features.

Maintain Exceptional Mental Health

As people age chronologically, their bodies follow suit. Consequently, with natural aging comes an increased susceptibility to certain mental ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and the like. However, there are certain steps which can actively combat the likelihood of mental ailments among senior citizens. Regular physical activities, human interactions, and getting out of the house can work wonders.

Believe it or not, the state of one’s mental health greatly impacts their ability to make sound judgment calls, especially when finances are involved. There also exists a documented link between mental fitness and higher amounts of capital. Senior citizens who currently own stock shares, bonds, or otherwise invest in various entities will be particularly in need of exceptional mental capabilities.

A Final Word

Conservatively managing money, having safeguards against fraud, and maintaining exceptional mental health are excellent first steps for senior citizens as they strive to protect and manage the capital which they have earned over the course of their lives. However, some older people may also benefit from contracting the services of a business manager or financial advisor.

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

How to Live Off the Grid and Remain Financially Comfortable

As technology and automation becomes more and more integrated into human society, many people are taking advantage of the associated benefits. However, not everyone is so pleased. As a matter of fact, certain individuals are choosing to adopt minimalist lifestyles and habits. Some people even opt to live off the grid, soak up nature, and take a detox from technology.

While living off the grid has its particular upsides for interested individuals, it is not a decision which can be made at the drop of a dime. Nine times out of ten, such a drastic lifestyle alteration demands a concrete plan; financial preparation is absolutely paramount. Thankfully, there are certain steps which can be taken so that one’s time off the grid is as comfortable and stress-free as possible.

Basic Utilities

Many people who choose to live off the grid often forget that this lifestyle does not translate to living free-of-charge. Even if one decides to forgo the use of electricity, they will still require access to utilities such as water and heat. Each and every living individual requires water; water is needed to drink, wash clothes, bathe/shower, etc. Therefore, anyone who considers going off the grid should invest in a well and septic. Both of the aforementioned items will amount to roughly $12,000 according to Quote Brands.

Next comes heat. Heat is a paramount utility which one will have to pay a pretty penny for if they are serious about off the grid living. This particular utility is generally used for cooking, heating water, etc. Heat is also critical for staying warm and not catching pnemounia during the winter time. Therefore, both propane and wood are necessary items to ensure that the individual has the proper resources to remain warm. Propanes usually amount to $4,400 while wood is slightly cheaper, coming to about $4,000.

Regarding utilities alone, living off the grid is not cheap. It requires a considerable degree of planning, investing, and preparing. This type of lifestyle cannot usually occur at the drop of a dime. At the end of the day, there is no escaping the reality that everything in life comes with a cost, in one form or another.

Other Essentials

While utilities are important resources (even for those who aspire to live off the grid), there are other necessary essentials, as affirmed by Money Crashers. Access to food, waste disposal, and personal security are things which people usually take for granted. Those who are interested in living off the grid would do well to learn how to naturally grow fruits and vegetables. Moreover, hunting, fishing, or stocking up on a considerable amount of canned goods are also options regarding food.

Furthermore, the ability to cleanly and effectively dispose of waste is something which most individuals don’t really think of. However, when one lives off the grid, they truly must fend for themselves in virtually every sense. Thankfully, there are a series of options for various forms of waste disposal. Latrines, outdoor toilets, composting, and even burning with fire can serve as appropriate means of doing away with waste.

Last, but certainly not least, comes personal security. Living off the grid is great, but regardless of where one goes, there are still dangers in the world. Having the proper precautions in place against criminals, predatory animals, and even dangerous insects is certainly something that one should have set up for themselves prior to the commencement of living off the grid.

By Gabrielle Seunagal

How to Financially Prepare for College

In many regards, college is viewed as a rite of passage into adulthood. While various individuals maintain different opinions regarding college, its merits, and potential pitfalls, there are certain occupations where a professional degree is absolutely paramount. However, nothing in life comes without a cost.

This is especially applicable regarding college; higher education is notorious for its costliness, especially in the United States. Therefore, being financially prepared for college is critical; those who are not prepared often find themselves ensnared in debt. Student loans are not pretty; neither is the associated debt which often accompanies it. This is why the following steps will prove to be especially helpful for current (and future) college students.

Maintain Excellent Grades

In a perfect world, all parents would stash aside money for their children to attend college. However, the world is far from perfect. Therefore, being proactive and taking the proper steps to prepare for college may very well fall on the shoulders of young people; according to The Simple Dollar, maintaining great grades can open up a lot of doors. Many of those doors can lead to financial opportunities for college, such as scholarships, grants, and even the ability to forego certain classes which other students may be mandated to take due to poor marks.

Set Up A Budget

Although college may seem like the time to party, immerse oneself into new activities, and soak up such a new phase of life, students should still be sure to have a budget in place. Having a precise and detailed list of expenses (such as monthly phone bill, groceries, personal care items) can particularly come in handy. Dividing up expenses and having an exact number regarding the amount of money coming in and going out can make a great difference and help students truly assess their current financial state.

If a college student finds him or herself having an extremely tight budget, they may want to consider taking up a part time job. The job should not interfere with their studies, but provide an income stream which can reduce financial stress. Many people who attend college can sometimes work to pay off their student loans; this can truly pay off down the road.

Avoid Common Traps

Believe it or not, there are a litany of mistakes which are quite common for college students to fall into. The Balance documents some of the aforementioned mistakes as mismanaging student loan funds, choosing overly expensive colleges, and going crazy with credit cards. While each of these pitfalls have their own unique elements, the great equalizer between them is the lack of frugality.

Virtually everyone loves to spend money and have nice things, but this comes with time. In the case of college students (and others who are just starting off in life), frugality is wisdom. Racking up credit cards, damaging credit scores, and otherwise spending money that one doesn’t have are common mistakes which college students often make due to a lack of knowledge and real world experience. The foregoing traps should always be avoided.

 

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal