Beginners Budgeting Basics

An awful lot of us are bad with money. When we’ve got it, we spend it. We accept credit cards when they are offered, and increase our limits when we can. We put things on credit because it’s easy, and even when we can afford to buy something outright, we take the finance option so that we don’t feel the loss.

If you’ve got a significant income, this can be fine. If you’ve got enough money that you can spend without worrying, you won’t get into trouble financially. But, it’s still a mistake. You won’t ever have savings, you might eventually need credit cards for bad credit because you are out of options, and you’ll struggle to make large purchases like buying a house. Then, one day you’ll realise that you’ve got nothing out aside for your retirement, and your options decrease further.

If you live paycheck to paycheck it’s even worse. Failure to take responsibility for your money can mean that you spend much more than you can afford to. Getting into debt is all too easy, and soon your debts can start to mount, making it impossible to get out. You can quickly find that by simply being bad with money, your options are vastly reduced, your debts have skyrocketed and your financial situation is dire. This won’t just affect you now. Severe damage to your credit score can mean that your future prospects are limited, and it can seem impossible to see a way out of your mess.

Fortunately, whatever your situation currently looks like, it’s never too late to make changes. The first should be learning to budget. Here are some tips to help you get started.

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Take Responsibility and Change Your Mindset

Yes, it’s easy to get into debt. Banks, loan companies and credit card companies are always offering you credit. When you make a large purchase, the offer of credit is there. If you’ve already got loans, credit cards and overdrafts, the companies will always want to find ways to give you more. This is how they make money. As someone with debt, you’re an ideal customer, they can make more from you.

But, this isn’t an excuse. Just because it’s easy to get into debt, doesn’t mean that you have to. Stop thinking “it’s ok, I’ll put it on credit” and start asking yourself “can I afford it right now?” And sometimes more importantly “do I need it?”. If you want to be better at budgeting, you first need to take responsibility and change your attitudes towards money, sometimes going against everything that society is telling you.

Assess Your Situation

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Are you guilty of avoiding bills and statements when you know it’s not good? You’re not alone. Most of us have at some point put an unopened statement straight into the bin. It’s even easier now that so many of us have gone paperless. Deleting emails or avoiding online accounts is easy.

But, it’s not going to help. Sure, short term, looking at your bills and statements might be upsetting and cause you worry and anxiety. But, long-term, it’s the only way to help yourself to make things better. You’ll also struggle to budget without really knowing what is going on in those accounts.

Free up a morning, or an afternoon. Sit down with a cup of coffee and no distractions. Print out your most recent bank statements and bills. Look at what you’ve got and what you owe. Take your time to really look into your financial situation. This is often the most crucial step in creating a budget and getting on top of any financial problems that you might have.

Organise Your Debts

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Few of us that are in debt only have one. You might have store cards, credit cards, loans and overdrafts. These debts aren’t all equal, and sometimes, the smaller debts are actually costing you the most money, so don’t assume that these are the best.

Now that you are aware of what you owe write a list. Write down every debt, its amount, its minimum repayment and its interest rates or fees. Look at how much each debt is costing you each month, how long it will take to repay at your current levels of repayment and how much it will cost you in total over its lifetime. By now, you should be able to see which debts are costing you the most money.

If any are interest and fee free, put them at the bottom on your list, but take note of how long that interest-free period will last, so you know when you will start to pay for them.

Find Ways to Decrease Debt

Then, it’s time to find ways to decrease these debts. Balance transfers are a great idea if you are eligible for an interest-free period and you can get the card. Debt consolidation loans are another great option, as the interest rates are much lower than credit cards and all your debts can move to one place. Just remember that even if you can only transfer a small amount of your money to an interest-free account, it’s worth doing as it will save you money.

If you are moving money like this, make a note of when that interest-free period ends. Try to pay off the debt before then, and if you can’t look at moving it again.

If these aren’t options for you, look at your accounts with the lowest interest and see if you could move debt from a higher interest account. When it comes to repayments, remember, even a little bit more than the minimum will help.

Prepare a Spreadsheet

Now you are in control of your debts. You understand your money. You need to actually build your budget. Prepare a simple spreadsheet and add everything. Add your income from wages and benefits as well as any other money that regularly comes into your account. Then, add all of your outgoings. Start with things that you have to pay each month, like rent and utilities. Then, add things that you often purchase, money towards holidays and luxuries, debt repayment, savings and luxuries. The more you include and the more accurate you can be, the more helpful your budget starts to become. Once a month sit down and look at your budget and your finances, make any changes that are necessary, don’t just assume that your budget will stay the same.

Find Ways to Save

You’ve taken control of your debts, you are making repayments, and you’ve got a budget. So now you can spot ways to save more easily. Look at those outgoings on your budget for any easy ways to save. Any contracts that you could cancel or reduce. Then, spend some time checking to see if you could make savings by switching providers.

Things like meal planning, writing shopping lists, shopping sales, preparing for holidays and events in advance and using less gas and electricity at home can also be a big help.

Set Financial Goals

Setting goals is a great way to motivate yourself. If you’ve got debts, your first goals should be about paying them off. If not, start to focus on saving money. Try to have a long-term goal, like saving for a mortgage or paying off a credit card, and then break it down into monthly or weekly targets to help you to stay on track.

Be Realistic

Setting goals that you can’t manage can be demotivating. Push yourself but make sure you’re goals and realistic and you’ll have much greater success.

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Become the master of your own trading strategy

When you are running a business, it is necessary to listen to just yourself. Other people are controlling your own business and this fact will mess with your head. The basic freedom of a business is based on the chance of listening to and following your own thoughts. This is true for all people around the world. Even if your business is nothing compared to the big companies, the rules and regulations will have to be made from your own mind. Yes, we have mentioned rules and regulations in the last sentence. That is because to maintain a business properly a person will also have to be consistent. In the case of the trading business. People can be consistent with their trading strategy. In the following article, we are going to talk about that and tell you about mastering your own trading strategy.

Learn about markets properly

To create a strategy about trading, traders will have to know about it first. The market analysis comes first for making it legit. Before opening any trader, traders will have to know about proper position sizing. That is possible with the proper market analysis first. For the traders to know about that. They will have to learn about finding key swings and price trends. You can easily be done that by finding out the support and resistance points properly. That is also possible with looking at the price charts and using some horizontal lines. Then traders will have to use the Fibonacci tool as it is the most legit one to learn about the possible future condition of the market. You will not be able to be right all the time. But there is no better way than that to go for a trade.

Consider it as your business

New traders don’t want to consider this profession as their business. But all the pro traders always consider it as their day job. They have done extensive research to know who the best Forex broker in Australia is. You can’t be the best if you don’t trade with the best. Though the charges and fees might be a little bit high in the elite class broker still you will have the safety for your investment. Take this profession as your business and you will succeed in the long run.

Know about position sizing

Now that you have learned about market analysis, it is time to work for the position sizing. There is two major factor for that. One is your desired risk to profit margin. And the other is your market analysis. As you have done the market analysis, it’s time to know about setting the right kind of targets with risk to profit margins. For those who don’t know, it is a ratio which represents the risks and reward ratio from the trades. It is something like 1:2 which means you are risking 1R and desiring the profit to be 2R. R is only the unit of calculating the risks and reward for the trading business. Now that you have learned about proper target setting. It is time to work with your position sizing properly.

Include the money management

Like the proper strategies for the trading business, people will also have to work with money. No, we are not talking about the targets like in the last segment of this article. There are more things which are related to the trading business which is based on money management. We are talking about actual money management of the trading account. Even the individual risks per trades are in this management system. When traders will be able to manage their money properly with proper understanding about their trading performance, they will be able to save a lot from their business. Your investment will be safe from using it too much like bait to draw in more profit.

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How to live your life debt free

Do you spend a large amount of your time worrying about money? Are you overwhelmed by the stresses and strains of daily life? Would you do anything to enjoy a more relaxing and straightforward existence? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, you should set yourself the challenge of becoming debt free. Don’t worry; achieving this goal is much easier than you would first think! If you are wondering how to make the first move, you should simply work your way through the following four steps. They will help you to turn your life around and to take complete control of your personal finances.

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Hold yourself accountable

Firstly, you will need to get a lot better at holding yourself accountable. Whenever you are wasting money, dodging bills, or stacking up debt, there needs to be a voice in your head that speaks up. You could even place your trust in a loved one and ask them to keep you on track. Perhaps you could send them your monthly bills, or maybe they could assist you with the completion of your taxes. Whatever you decide, the most important thing is that you are unable to run away from your responsibilities. If you are going to live your life debt free, it is vital that you take a stand.

Organize your finances

The next step is organizing your finances thoroughly. Instead of wasting your time rifling through a pile of receipts or a mess of bank statements, you will need to create a system for storing your financial information. You should also get to work establishing budgets for your monthly expenses, along with your annual outgoing costs. Depending on the current state of your personal finances, this could take you quite a while. However, once you have pushed through the initial stages of managing your money, you will be well on your way to a life of order and control.

Find helpful resources

Although it is essential that you take responsibility for your finances, you need to recognize the fact that you are not alone. There are so many helpful resources for you to rely on if you are struggling to wrap your head around your money problems. For instance, if you are trying to decide between personal capital or mint, you can find out everything you need to know online.

Surround yourself with positive influences

Last but not least, you should be surrounding yourself with positive influences. If you are determined to reach your goal of a debt free life, it is a good idea to spend your time in the company of people who share your outlook. It is also a good idea to keep your distance from reckless individuals who encourage you to take chances and forget about your future goals. Choosing the right friends and family members to connect with will help you to remain focused, motivated, and enthusiastic at all times. You never know, you might even inspire those around you to follow in your footsteps.

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4 Christmas Expenses That You’ve Probably Forgotten

Christmas is a time for making great memories with your friends and family but, unfortunately, it’s also a time for spending a lot of money. There are so many things you need to buy like presents and food and if you aren’t careful, you could end up landing yourself in a sticky financial situation if you overspend. The key to keeping the Christmas budget down is preparation. If you start early and make sure that you plan ahead for those expenses, you can pay for them without too much trouble. But there are so many things to buy that you’ll inevitably forget some. These are the Christmas expenses that you probably didn’t plan for.

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Hosting Guests

Hopefully, your guests have given you some notice and they’re not going to just turn up on your doorstep unannounced. But that doesn’t mean you’ve considered the financial implications of having guests over for Christmas. There are all sorts of things you need to do to prepare your home. If the spare room is a bit of state then you might need to decorate it which is going to cost you. Even if the spare room doesn’t need decorating, you still need to provide extra food for them and your utility bills will be higher if you’ve got extra people in the house. It’s important to start setting the house up for guests ahead of time so you don’t end up spending loads of money last minute.

Christmas Lights

Most people that put Christmas lights up massively underestimate the cost of it. It’s a great way to bring some Christmas cheer to your neighbors but you’re going to have to spend a lot of money on it. There’s the cost of the lights themselves and if you’re putting them all over the outside of the house, you might have to pay for Christmas light installation. It’s dangerous to get up there on a ladder on your own and start messing around with the electrics so it’s best left to the experts. Once the lights are up, you’ve also got to consider the cost of the electricity bill which is probably going to be pretty substantial if you’ve got a lot of lights up.

Batteries

Batteries are probably the most forgotten Christmas item in the entire world. Toys never come with batteries and the kids are going to be disappointed if they can’t play with their new toys. That means you’re going to need to stock up on a load of batteries and that’ll cost you more than you think.

Extra Food

For some reason, everybody seems to have an endless appetite on Christmas day. No doubt you’ve planned out what you’re going to make for the Christmas dinner but that’s only the start. People are going to want cheese and biscuits and chocolates to snack on for the rest of the night. If you get all of those little extras last minute, the cost will really add up.

Make sure that you plan ahead for these Christmas expenses so you can afford everything easily.

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Emergency Recovery For Personal Finances

Sometimes, it seems like both budgeting and making money is a breeze – while, other times, it is anything but simple. The problem with planning out your personal finances and budgeting for the future is that we simply don’t know what the future holds.

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That’s why you need to have an emergency plan ready for when it’s not going the way you anticipated so that you’re able to safeguard yourself a bit better.

Start by having a look at the simple steps below; it won’t necessarily save you from bankruptcy, but at least it will keep you from having to approach your family members for a short-term loan. It’s the kind of stuff that builds confidence and makes it easier to stay afloat, in general.

Here is a quick guide to recovering your personal finances when times are tough.

#1 Cut down on all costs

When you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of not nearly having as much money as you used to have, it’s necessary to have a look at your budget again. Try to cut down on everything that’s not vital.

Your electricity bill can certainly be lower, you might want to find a cheaper mode of transportation, and you should definitely have a look at this article to cook up some affordable and delicious meals at home.

You might want to consider selling some of your unused stuff, by the way, as it will free up a few extra assets for you. Plus, it’s going to make your home way neater which is a great benefit on its own.

#2 Could you get compensation?

If you are in this situation because of some unexpected medical expenses, you should have a chat with a lawyer about compensation. While your medical insurance may have covered most of it, you still won’t be able to work as much as you used to – and the impact an accident or an injury has on your personal finances is simply not fair.

Consider the reason for your medical bills and have a look here for attorneys experienced at handling truck accident claims. Keep in mind that you will be able to get compensation for most accidents, though, as long as you’ve done your homework and gathered as many details as possible of the accident.

#3 Continue to save

Sure, it’s going to be hard to find money to set aside for an emergency fund when you’re currently selling your stuff in order to stay afloat – but, as soon as you’re able to, it’s important that you continue to save.

In case you should find yourself in difficulties in the future, you will have this emergency fund to fall back on and it will help a lot in terms of the emotional stress we suffer when money is tight.

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