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Securing your Financial Future


By: Gynn Flores


Financial FutureIt is not how much you earn but how much you keep that can secure your financial future. There are a lot of us who earn a lot but are still buried with debts like personal loans and payday advances making their take home pay very meager. Having many liabilities will make you incur interest expense which can make your take home pay much smaller. On the contrary, some people earn minimal amount only but are more financially stable as they are debt-free. Sometimes, rank and file employees are richer than managers in terms of liquidity.

Although it is not bad to avail of credit facilities for emergencies, they should not be used just to fund luxuries that are definitely not basic needs. We have to bear in mind that times are hard and incurring debts unnecessarily is not practical. We should prioritize securing our financial future than engaging in worldly things we can’t afford. There are several options on how to attain financial stability:

  • Save at least 20% of your monthly income. Set this aside in a separate bank account that you are not supposed to touch. Treat it as if it is money already spent and therefore no longer yours to spend.
  • Invest in the stock market. You can start small here contrary to what we perceive – that we should have a substantial amount before we can get started. This is meant to be a long-term investment – so do not expect to be able to pull out your money anytime. Putting your passive income for 20 years in this manner can even make you rich. In times of crisis, do not panic, in fact it is time to buy stocks from good companies while the prices are low.
  • Pay off loans that have high interest rates. This automatically gives you savings from paying big interest. Credit cards when left unpaid on due date will make you incur late payment charges and penalties in addition to finance charges. Manage credits well to avoid incurring additional expenses. Most of your payments should cover the principal amount and not just the interest and penalties. If you can afford it, paying in advance can also build-up your good financial status.

  • Buy a rent-to-own house- where the rentals you are paying now can be part of your monthly amortization. In some instances your rental expense is enough to pay the amortization. Instead of incurring an expense, it automatically becomes an investment.

When you have started on building up your wealth, you can’t help but experience a sense of hope and excitement. Gone are the insecurities and worries in your mind instead,you’ll feel like winning a battle in your life. It is therefore important that you take charge of your finances and don’t leave it to chance. Start now and change the entire direction of your financial future to make your dreams come true. Rather than touching your investments when the need arises, you can avail of personal loans but make sure that you prioritize on paying these on your next pay check.

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Easier Life with Sound Time Management


By: Elena Grace Flores


Time ManagementTime is gold – that’s a fact. We are always pressed for time with too many things to do and with too little time. This causes us to be stressed out as we try to cope and finish what we have to do for the day. We tend to envy people who can always take their time. Is it because they have a few things to do? Could it be that they have more than what they need that they don’t really have to rush things? Let me tell you this – life could be a lot easier if you learn the art of sound time management.

Time management is a skill you have to develop. The more you work, the brighter is your prospect for the future but you have to learn to be organized – to balance progress with health. Here are guidelines on how to be skillful in developing sound time management that could be very beneficial for you:

  1. Set your priorities and be sure to stick to them. Important things should be finished first. Many people tend to choose easier things to do initially which makes them cram when there is too little time left for important tasks to be done. They are bound to fail – not having enough energy and with sloping attentiveness to complete important matters within a limited time.
  2. Make a list of all the things that you need to do for the day. Sort these out and make a mental schedule of what you need to do first. Schedule trips based on geographical locations in such a way that you can cover them all in one go within the day. Time can easily be wasted by travelling back and forth without a strategic plan.
  3. Do not stick to any one task for so long. This will only lead to boredom which is a waste of time. Split tasks into sections and achieve a section at a time. This will make difficult tasks much easier and more manageable. It further maximizes your time and makes you achieve important tasks much easier and faster.
  4. At the beginning of the day, review your priorities well. This will remind you on what to do first. This maximizes your opportunity to meet all your objectives especially the most important ones within the needed time frame.
  5. Do not panic. Teach yourself to relax with some breathing exercises and self-motivation by thinking positively about beautiful things. Panicking will only make you prone to making mistakes. It will also stress you out a lot – draining you of the much needed energy to finish the entire tasks you’ve laid for the day.
  6. Stay inspired. Always remember your goals when doing things. It could be a good future for your family, a house that you hope to acquire or a dream car that you want to reward yourself with. These will keep you motivated and inspired in doing your tasks especially the difficult ones.

Keeping the above guidelines in mind, will make you achieve all the tasks that need to be done. Twenty-four hours is such a long time to be able to achieve a lot of things if you learn sound time management skills. Also bear in mind that our body needs some relaxation. Never deprive yourself with this essential pleasure. Do not skip lunch breaks to save time. You can shorten it but do not punish your body by making it starve. You can’t achieve excellent things when you are weak. This will also make you too lazy to nurture relationships – so practice time management at all times.

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Conservative Money Habits for Successful Financial Planning


By: Gemma Lagasca


Money HabitsMany people are very much bothered about money. It’s mind boggling why others have lots and some don’t have. Money management is vital because they just don’t grow on trees. Saving money for different reasons is a good sense of discipline to prepare for unexpected circumstances. This is also the key to financial stability because there’s no such thing as earning quick cash. Begin with establishing a better outlook for your resources today – to be safe from worrying about debts tomorrow. Just plan on it as follow:

  1. Create a monthly budget.  Budgeting is one of the key factors on how to spend your money wisely. That way, you can clearly analyse your needs and you can easily keep track of your expenses. When you shop for groceries, make sure you have your list of things to buy to avoid spending beyond your limit or end up buying not so important commodities.
  2. Simply pay cash. Paying the groceries, utility bills and other purchases through credit cards are more convenient than paying cash but if you want to be in control with your spending, pay cash especially if you are an impulsive buyer. It will alarm you if you go beyond your budget because you’ll just run out of cash.

  3. Open an emergency account. Your monthly budget should include a certain amount for emergency fund allocation. This will take care of unexpected expenses. Credit cards incur interestsaside from the due payments and service fees. This will deplete your monthly budget as the charges are accumulated over time. Securing an emergency fund is a good effort for your peace of mind.
  4. Start saving for your retirement while you’re young. If you are on your early 20’s begin setting aside a certain amount in your savings account for your future retirement. That small savings will grow bigger in due course. The power of compounding interests will build wealth for you as time progresses.  For example; a $5,000 investment of a 21 year old lad can escalate to $120,000 during its maturity period. This will ensure a comfortable life for him during his senior years – or he can re-invest the increased amount for a higher yield when his finances allow him during the peak of his career – thus resulting to substantial wealth.
  5. Eating outside is a major waste of money. Dining out is one of the common habits that can tear down your budget. Imagine the amount of every posh dish that can sustain the costof food allowances for few days. Learn how to cook your own food at home and enjoy a delightful dish without compromising your budget. If you want to celebrate for a special occasion outside, plan and save for it.
  6. Focus on your future goals as you cut down expenses. Cutting down expenses is only a part of managing your money wisely – but that’s not the end of the story yet. You should have plans and targets for certain concrete set of actions. That way, your financial management mindset is for long-term purposes – like for setting-up your business in the future, owning a dream house for your family and investing in educational plans for your children’s brighter future. Availing for financial assistance for these purposes is more likely to flourish in a long run.

Every penny counts. Spending your money wisely can do justice to your hard work and will keep you safe from investment scams promising to generate quick cash. Motivating yourself to save and plan now can mean a debt-free life in the future.

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How to Avoid Getting into the Payday Loan Loop


By: Gemma Lagasca


Payday loanPayday loan is an advance credit provided by loan operating businesses with your pay check as guarantee. It is like advancing the money that you are about to receive for the upcoming payday. These kinds of services are usually charging higher interest rates than banks – reaching as much as 400% annually. Post-dated checks are required as collateral prior to granting the loan.

Is Payday Loan helpful?

 It takes only one instance to be hooked into this never-ending cycle. Aside from the over-charging of interest rates, you only have 14 days to repay the loan. It is true that you can easily borrow the amount of money you need anytime and anywhere using this system. However, your financial situation will get worst once you started linking your life with it. Upon receiving your monthly pay check, it will go straight to the credit establishment to pay for your advances. How will you survive until the next pay day? Of course, you will be tempted to renew your loan again – paying a substantial part of your pay to lenders for the accumulated interests instead of spending them for your needs. This cycle will not end unless you stop relying on it.

How to Prevent Resorting to a Payday Loan?

  1. Create an emergency fund. It should only be utilized for your emergency needs such as household wears and tears. Set aside a certain amount every payday until you saved at least $1,000 to $ 2,000 for your emergency fund. If you will do that little by little, you will no longer think of payday loans. If you happen to use your emergency fund for any reasons, make sure to replace it at once to avoid inconvenience that can come your way later on.
  2. Include a sinking fund in your monthly budget. It is normally intended for car repairs especially when your car is old – where spare part replacement is a must.  It will be lighter for you to set aside a certain amount as part of your monthly expenditures for the basic needs. That way, you won’t have to compromise borrowing from payday loan providers to cover unexpected expenses.
  3. Apply for a credit card but use it only for emergencies. Credit card is a much wiser financial facility to use than payday loans. It has lower interest rates compared to payday loans. However, ample discipline is needed so as not to accumulate unbearable debts. Once you get used to using your credit card for lifestyle enhancements, you will surely ruin your regular budget. Avoid waking up one day to find that you are already sinking into an endless hole of debts.
  4. Inquire how to avail quick loans from your bank or any affiliated credit union. They have loan services similar to payday loans but still following the standard allowable interest schemes. It is even a good idea using this loan to pay off existing payday loans that you already have – but be firm in staying away from them after clearing them out. That way, your loans are consolidated in one entity for convenience and manageable charges.

Payday loans should be avoided at all cost. Financial stability can never be attained when you are tied up with these kinds of responsibilities. Do not create another nightmare by relying on this temporary solution. Start saving now to never resort to any forms of credit again.

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The Beauty of Being Self-Reliant


By: Gynn Flores


Self ReliantI have been very independent when it comes to my finances. There have been many ups and downs in the past but no matter how hard it is for a single parent to survive financial crisis, I can say that I am indeed a survivor. Looking back – after watching my children grew up and have their own lives, I can never trade my being self-reliant to living a luxurious life as a dependent. This is how I found fulfilment and would gladly share my views to those who are seeking financial independence. You are self-reliant if you can support yourself and your dependents without needing the help or assistance of other people. This is hard to achieve as it means you have to earn more than enough for yourself alone. Many people work multiple jobs but still have a hard time coping without cash advances. Here are pointers on how to achieve self-reliance:

    1. Always make a budget and stick to it. Over spending happens when you subconsciously spend without knowing you can’t really afford it.
    2. Maximize your capacity to earn and still maintain enough sleep and good nutrition for yourself. Do not risk or force yourself to work when your body is giving signals that it is already depleted with energy.

  1. Teach yourself and your dependents the value of money. Be thrifty to allow your budget to match your lifestyle. Do not force to upgrade if you still cannot afford it.
  2. Be strong against temptations especially on the luxuries in life. Necessities should be prioritized. Luxuries can wait if something is still left after you have set aside enough for the basic needs.
  3. Know how to save for the hard times. You should set aside a certain percentage of your income for savings. This is the way to have financial stability. It is not enough to be able to afford the daily expenses but also to keep a small portion for the future in case of emergency and for your retirement.

Here are the benefits of being self-reliant:

  1. You do not need to seek approval from anybody if you are spending for your own needs.
  2. You have a free hand on what lifestyle you want for yourself as long as you can afford it. This is usually based on your earning capacity.
  3. You earn some respect as you do not have to be a dependent of anybody.
  4. You keep out other people from making decisions for you. This makes you in control of your life.
  5. You can live away from people you don’t like if you are self-reliant.

Self-reliance requires a lot of hard work and discipline that you have to impose on yourself. Do not be intimidated or influenced by others who are spending the money that they don’t have just because they drive nice cars or wearing signature clothes. All the luxuries can wait when you can already cash them. Relying to cash advances is a killer. A short time of enjoyment will be replaced with a lot of time pushing yourself to earn more just to level off your deficit spending.

Image Source: Self Reliance