Simplicity is the first rule of budgeting

People are inherently rebellious, it is in our nature and we cannot deny it. However, all of us know that rules are in place for a reason and rules give us safety and bring order in our lives. While we might not like them, they are there to help us and make our lives easier.

The same is true for developing a budget. In order to have financial success, you need order in the form of a budget. Now, the first and the most basic rule of budgeting is to keep it simple. If you do not like rules then do not worry because there are no specific “rules” for budgeting. People tend to create a big hype around budgeting and that you need to stick to specific rules if you want to succeed.  Nevertheless, the thing is that there is only one rule that you need to remember when formulating your budget and that is to keep it all simple.

You need not be an accountant or even have any degree whatsoever in any accountancy subjects. All you need is a paper, a pen and a calculator.

Do not complicate things when they are much better left simple. There is no need to use fancy graphs or linked spreadsheets or any complicated tables. No, you will not need any hi-tech software to create your budget. You will not even have to take any extra degree or classes to do it.

As I said earlier, if you have a blank sheet of paper or a spreadsheet then you have all you need. Enlist all the expenses that you make every month. Yes, this is what it is. It is preparing a list and nothing more than that. Now you tell me if this is difficult.

If you are one of those people who cannot seem to remember what you spent your money on then you can do this. Carry a paper and pencil everywhere you go. Note every expense you make. By the time the week ends, you are sure to know your expenses. Keeping in mind the notes that you took during the week, prepare your monthly budget. You can make things even simpler by doing budgets for each pay check. Alternatively, you can assign a column to every pay check.

When you are done, plan your expenses surrounding your pay check. Simply decide what you want to spend money on, this week or when you get your pay check this time. If you can keep a track of where you are spending, you will be able to plan how you want to spend it.

The planning will keep you from making any unnecessary or impulsive purchases that you will regret later on. Stick to your budget and you will do well.

Simplicity is of prime importance when you plan your budget. Without it, you will be lost in complicated terms and columns and you will end up in a mess. Therefore, plan a budget and make it simple.

Continue Reading

Information on reverse mortgage for seniors

People have started understanding reverse mortgage and its popularity is growing in America. If you do not know about reverse mortgage then it is a speciality mortgage. It helps the homeowner to use his or her home equity to get cash. It helps the older generation to become financially sound and gives them security so that they can be prepared for any emergency medical expenses besides several other costs.

The reverse mortgage is by HUD and in order to be eligible you have to be over 62 years of age and you should have paid off your mortgage or should have only a small amount remaining to pay back.

Homeowners can receive payment as they prefer. They can go for a lump sum payment or they can opt for a monthly payment for a specified period or for as long as they stay in that house. You can change this mortgage depending upon your circumstances.

This mortgage does not require for the seniors to make any repayments. The lenders will recover their principal amount as well as their interest when they sell the house. If there is any extra amount remaining then they will pay it to the homeowner or their survivor.

If the amount that they lender get after selling the house falls short of paying the borrowed amount, then the difference is paid by the HUD. The Federal Housing Administrations collects insurance premium from their borrowers so that they can provide for this coverage.

Now the amount that you can get as reverse mortgage will usually depend upon your age, rate of interest as well as the value of your property. This mortgage type will lend you more if you are older. Besides that, you will not need to produce any proof of income or present any sort of asset. Apart from that, you do not need to have a house of a certain value to be eligible for this type of mortgage.

You should be prepared to give about two per cent of your property’s value as an up-front fee. Apart from that, you will also have to pay one and half per cent of your balance amount of loan annually. However, the lender generally pays this amount and this is included in the total amount that you borrow as a homeowner.

This is an excellent option for seniors. They have worked their entire lives to be able to own their homes and therefore, the home is the one thing they have that will provide for their financial security when they need it the most.

Continue Reading

On toward better spending habits

Who doesn’t want money? Everybody could use some extra cash, especially so if you are retiring. However, not many people are able to get it. Most people, fail to save up enough for their retirement owing to bad spending habits.

You cannot build your retirement fund in a day or two. It will require time but you can speed up the process a little bit by bettering your spending habits. Nevertheless, it is possible to change your lifestyle so that you can develop better spending habits.

First, avoid spending a lot of time simply sitting in front of your television. Not only is it bad for your circulation, it steals away the time that you could have otherwise spent with your family. If you happen to like reading, then you should frequent your local public library as often as you can. You do not need to purchase any books from any store. If you be patient then you will see that your library has acquired the book that you wanted to read so much.

People tend to spend a lot after their addictions. Hence, if you happen to smoke then you can begin to reduce the amount of cigarettes that you smoke every day. You might not be able to give up smoking suddenly. However, with time, you might be able to even that. Thus, you will save not only that extra money you spent every month on cigarettes, but you will also save your health and hence the medical bills.

If you work somewhere not too far from your home then you can ride a bike to work or even walk to work if that is possible. It will help you boost your overall health while also doing good to their environment as well as your pocket.

Avoid eating out too frequently. Eat at home. You can try out different recipes while saving money simultaneously. Moreover, you will get to spend quality time with your family and you will also learn to improve your cooking.

Several people drop in a coffee joint on their way to work and spend a few bucks on coffee every day. Now, if you sum it up for a month, it can be quite a lot. Therefore, it is better to take your coffee from home. You can use a thermos to keep it hot.

Avoid using your car as far as possible. Take a walk instead of your car. Saving on parking fees and gas can be quite a big save.

These are just a few of the changes that you can make to your lifestyle to see more money saved as well as more health improved.

Continue Reading

Lowering your telephone bills

Well, let me think. Yes, here is an interesting way to reduce your telephone bills. Simply call someone when you know they will not be there. This way you can leave a message and they will have to pay when they return your call. So, what if your timing is bad?

Alright, let us all get serious here. I am not here to tell you about some hopeless technique. These are simply some practical ways in which you can actually reduce your phone bills. Read on and find out.

Set your priorities straight. It is better to work towards reducing your telecom bill by 20% instead of working to halve your spending on vending machines. Understand the things that you can and cannot do. It is better to hire someone to help you reduce costs instead of trying to do it yourself when you do not have the time to know what the costs are in the first place.

Learn to do the calculations first. If you are switching to a new company simply because of some great offer then check if the costs do not rise up drastically after the initial “grace” period. You can save a lot on your phone bills by limiting the calls you make to mobile phones. The prices are high and they make up for about half of your monthly phone bill. Therefore, make sensible use of your phone.

Consider the minimum charges of each call and the strategy of rounding up. You can end up paying quite a lot.  Capped calls are another area where you can expect to pay more. Business calls usually last no more than two minutes. If you have a capped call tariff then such calls will cost you a lot more.

You can reduce your line rental as much as between 10% to 25%. The calls to 0870 numbers are always expensive and it is possible to reduce this expense even though at times these calls are inevitable. You can request the respective company if they have any local number that you can use if you want to call from outside the country or from abroad.

You can also note down the number when they happen to call you. Caller displays usually will help you see their original number. If you do not get it then you can find them on BT’s directory enquiries online or you can get it from their website. Alternatively, you can look on 192.com. You might just find them there.

Another website is saynoto0870.com. This is an amazing website where you can find the listings of the phone numbers of several companies.

Thus, there are a number of ways in which you can reduce your phone bills.

Continue Reading

How to select the right mortgage lender?

Enter mortgage into any search engine and you will find scores of sites offering you mortgage. On the other hand, enter any bank or financial institution and say that you want a mortgage then you will most likely be hurried into some private office for a meeting with the mortgage advisor or be showered with several leaflets.

However, the point is not finding somebody who will give you a mortgage but it is about finding the right one. Mortgages mean big business. Hence, every financial institution has several different loans for buying any property on offer.  Therefore, you need to shop around before deciding, check out a number of lenders and then make your decision. Comparing can save you quite some money.

The best place to start with is your bank. If you have been with the same bank for quite a while besides having a good record financially then they will be much more confident to loan you more amount of money as mortgage.

The competition amidst lenders is quite fierce these days with the interest rates dropping. Therefore, it is possible that you might find a better deal somewhere else also. Hence, you do not have to feel compelled to use your bank to get your mortgage.

You can make things easier for yourself by using several websites online that help you out with several comparative tables of mortgage offers. Simply type ‘mortgage’ in the search box and you will see several results. One such site is moneysupermarket.com/mortgages. It is good for comparing.

Then there are several comparison sites online. You can use any of them to your benefit. Another good place to look is the finance section of your newspaper. They carry many advertisements besides any news on the recent offers. However, do not get lured by any adverts that simply promise lower rates while not revealing any other information.

Mortgage is not all about rates. Most often, banks advertise displaying the lowest rate that they offer. However, before you can avail that rate you will have to pass several qualifying criteria. Besides that, you should look out for any hidden charges, or clauses.

Always remember to read the fine print, the terms and conditions before you sign up for any deal. People usually get scammed because they do not pay enough attention. Therefore, be careful when you decide.

Then some of the borrowers can also consider ethical investment. For example, Muslim banks are not allowed to charge or pay interest.

Continue Reading

Lower monthly bills means higher monthly savings

The biggest and most effective method of saving money each month is by lowering the bills every month. You will be able to save quite a lot without having to do much about it.

Paying your bill is that one expense that most of us struggle to keep up with. In fact, the many unfortunate ones who think of ignoring the problem will put off paying their bills and then end up in big debts.  You can save a lot of money by saving on your monthly bills. You can save on just about anything from food, clothing, gas to the bigger ones like your insurance or even your mortgage. The trick is to look in the right direction.

First, begin by eliminating all your useless or unnecessary expenses. This will include things like eating out during the weekends, magazine or newspaper subscriptions that you can get at your library or online, cable TV, buying lunch and such other things. These are seemingly small expenses but once you get them out of your budget, you will surprise yourself at the money you save.

Now, I am not saying you have to lead a drab life. You can of course give yourself a reward every now and then, but if you want out of debt fast, then it is only logical to save all that you can.

These are the general savings you can make. In order to find out some more expenses that you might be making without actually knowing it, you can go through your card statements or your chequebook.

Another thing to do would be to call up your card company and inquire if they can lower your rates of interest, even if that is for some short period. Good prices come to those who look for them. This is one moneysaving principle that you should not forget. If you make the effort and look around then you will surely find what you need at a cheaper price. This principle comes in useful especially for those things that you simply cannot eliminate out of your expense list. Shop around and look for good deals on the different things.

In fact, you can save hundreds every month if you can find better deals. You can find good deals on your car insurance, mortgage, internet service, telephone and even those utility bills. You do not need any particular skills for doing this. All you need is some patience and a good eye and you will be able to save enough to come out of your debt soon.

Continue Reading

Frugal living

Frugal living needs certain specific set of skills and a certain perspective of things so that you learn to make the most of every opportunity of saving money. A truly frugal individual learns to make habits of these. Some such habits are given below.

If you want to live frugally, it is important to understand the value of different things. For example, how do you know if the deal on some car is good or not unless you know the actual value of the car? Therefore, make it a habit to learn about prices of different things. Do this especially if you are planning to buy something expensive. It might not take more than some hours to flip through the sale listings of houses in your area. However, knowing that will help you make savings of thousands.

Keep yourself open to learning. Most people have someone they know who seems to get the best deal around on cars, homes, boats, groceries and just about everything. So, ask him or her on how they happen to do it. Learn from others.

An important part of frugal living is to keep looking for options or alternatives. If you have more fun enjoying that delicious pizza at home than eating at some high-end French restaurant, then why not call Pizza Hut and skip that expensive eat-out. It is not so much about sacrificing anything as it is about getting things that you enjoy while paying less for their alternatives.

Do not use that plastic money. It is simply a rule to pay cash if you want to save money. You will have to pay interest if you pay through your credit card. Why pay more when you can have it for less! So, if you want that sofa set then divide its price by the exact number of weeks that you are ready to wait for getting it.

Keep saving that much every week and then purchase it for cash. You will save not only on the interest but also you will get better prices when paying in cash.

Make friends with numbers or in other words, learn to calculate. This is important. Are you really saving on your car when it is actually costing you hundreds in gas every year? Do not simply go for the bigger pack thinking it will be cheaper. Many are profiting because of this very misconception of people. Therefore, do the calculation before buying anything.

Mention what you need in conversations. People might get cheap or free things simply because they happen to talk about it.

These are habits and therefore, you will need to keep doing these for several weeks before they become a part of your lifestyle.

Continue Reading