Skip The Rut & Avoid Debt

When it comes to money, people often find themselves stuck in a financial rut because of bad management. The best way that anyone can avoid getting themselves into a mess is to be proactive about how money is managed and spent. The trouble is, money is such a tempting thing and getting into debt is far easier than it should be. Many people fall into the trap of short-term satisfaction with credit cards and loans and then have to suffer the long-term difficulties of making repayments.

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It can be very easy to run up a mountain of debt through credit cards as they are so very easily available. Trying to avoid being in a rut means a lot of self-control and willpower, and only paying for things as you can afford them. The trap happens where you need to borrow and repay money on time to build an efficient credit rating, and that can spiral out of control. There are companies that are out there like that can assist with fixing your credit rating as you need it, but it sometimes can be better to avoid the bad credit in the first place. There are some ways you can manage your money and not get stuck in a rut of debt, and we’ve got some of those below for you:

Keep Employed. Okay, so it’s not always possible, but maintaining a secure level of employment is a great way to minimise debt. Secure income means not having to turn to other means to get things paid, as you have a regular amount coming in each month. By ensuring you don’t lose your job, you can keep things smooth and ticking over correctly. Losing a job can happen randomly and sometimes this can be without fault, and you want to avoid this happening as much as possible. Maintain a network with your colleagues and clients so that if recession hits and you are made redundant, you have contacts in your field to fall back on.

Pay Taxes. Taxes are one of those bills that you must pay no matter what happens. Owing money is hard enough but owing the IRS is a whole other ball game. Make your tax payments a priority as early as possible in the year, and be vigilant about keeping money aside each month to pay for your taxes. Contacting the IRS and enquiring about extensions or making part payments is going to help if you feel like you can’t manage your usual tax bill, but if you don’t call them that’s where the issues begin. Avoid that debt by being organised.

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Ultimately, you have to be savvy. When it comes to buying the things that you want, only get the things you can afford. If you can’t afford what you want, then it’s time to save up and wait. Don’t just move onto the credit cards or tap into your savings as you will likely need your savings! Be financially smart and you can reap the reward as you go!

Three Steps To A Debt-Free Life

Goldilocks And The Three Debt-Elimination Strategies

There are more than three debt-elimination strategies, but following will be several that can help you determine which options are best for you and your situation. These strategies include: consolidation of existing debt and associated expenses, reduction of recurring expenses, and living beneath your means.

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One: Consolidation Of Existing Debt And Associated Expenses

There are some good agencies who can advise you if you are considering consolidation; for example, specializes in: “…providing resources for managing personal debt, commercial debt, credit counseling, consolidation, and more.”

Many companies consolidate infrastructure to cut costs. What this means is that they put everything together into a single manageable “chunk. For example, instead of having ten departments working separately, they’ll use cloud computing cover operations singularly which previously took multiple groups to fulfill. You can do the same thing with your finances.

If you’ve got multiple areas of debt, what you can so is combine them into a single loan through a loan consolidation. If you’ve got $10k in student loans, $6k in credit card debt, and $10k in other miscellaneous debts, you might take out a loan for $26k, pay off those debts immediately, and simply pay off the new loan.

You can save this way because you won’t be paying three separate interest rates in addition to the principals on the loans you took out. You’ll just be paying one interest rate on the new consolidated loan. This can help you pay off what you owe more quickly.

Two: Reduction Of Recurring Expenses

You want to get more by spending less. One way to do that might be to eliminate the monthly cost of utilities on a piece of property you own. If you’re paying $100 a month for electricity, cutting this expense will save $1,200 annually. In five years, you’ve saved enough to buy a decent used car.

Strategies to do this include solar, wind, and water energy. These can do several things to save you money. One, they cut your utility costs. Two, they increase property value. Three, depending on your state, using a “green” solution could net you a tax break. The downside is paying for installing such solutions.

However, being in debt doesn’t mean you have bad credit—not necessarily, anyway. If your credit is good enough, one strategy might be to take out a loan for installation of a solar energy system before selling your property. Such a system can increase property value between $10k and $20k depending on your state.

It generally costs around $5k to install a 5.1 kWh solar energy system if you do it yourself and source cost-effective components. Since this increases property value between $10k and $20k, it represents a sound investment. Once you’ve sold your property and paid off the loan, you see between $5k and $15k profit, which can be turned to paying off other debts.

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Three: Live Beneath Your Means

You don’t need fast food, you don’t need energy drinks, you don’t need five dollar gourmet coffees, you don’t need to pay $500 a month financing that new car, you don’t need a $2,000 mortgage on a five-bedroom house for your family of four, and you don’t need that financed furniture set.

All you need is a place to rest your head, a hygiene strategy, and proper nutrition. Provide this for yourself and your family, then cut out excesses until you’re debt-free. Keep that practice up for a few years after and you’ll have a surplus which allows you to make discretionary purchases, too.

Live Debt Free

If you consolidate debts, cut unnecessary spending, and live beneath your means, you can get out of debt and stay out of debt. It takes time, but it can be done.

Interested in Investing? These Are Smart Places To Put Your Money

Looking to turn a little money into a lot? If you’re in the fortunate position where you have money sat in the bank each month, why not make this work a little harder? Instead of accruing a measly amount of interest each year you could gain far more and maybe even turn it into a full time career. Here are a few smart places to invest if you want to grow your money.

Precious Metals

Investments into precious metals such as gold and silver are smart choice because prices increase over time. They’re not the best investment idea for people who want to make a profit fast, but those who are in it for the long haul will see a healthy return. In just the last ten years, the price of gold has almost doubled, which goes to show how much opportunity there is in this market. Only purchase from a reputable seller, there are plenty of companies out there which facilitate the buying and selling of precious metals. Do your research and work with one that suits you.

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The Stock Market

Investing in the stock market isn’t usually recommended for newbies. However, if you do want to give it a go there’s help available out there to allow you to familiarise yourself. For example, there are lots of professional brokers who are able to assist you, as well as simulation computer programs. These work by replicating the market that you can practice on first without actually spending money. You should never spend more than you can afford to lose, which is why this should be done with extra money not what you need to pay your rent and bills. If you’re fortunate you could do well here, lots of entrepreneurs make a killing from the stock markets and is something you could look into if it’s of interest. Some of the he best areas to invest in are commodities such as oil and gas companies and armed forces businesses such as weapons manufacturers.


Bitcoin is a digital software-based currency, created to provide both a simple and convenient way to transfer funds to a seller when buying online. It’s still relatively new (it has only been in the public’s interest since 2013), but according to experts and investors, it’s something that’s likely to continue increasing in popularity. You can purchase this currency from a bitcoin exchange or online broker, or even directly from another individual. ATM machines often give the option to buy them too. As with any investment, there is some gamble involved especially with it being a brand new system. However, venture capital firms have bet that it’s something that’s likely to stick around.


There’s a lot more that goes into buying and selling houses than simply buying cheap, renovating and selling for a profit. Property can be unpredictable as the market has peaks and troughs, plus you never know exactly what you will uncover when you start ripping out walls and floors of properties to renovate. Make sure you have enough background knowledge to be able to make the best decisions and boost your profits and avoid the common mistakes newbie property investors tend to make. There are a few ways you can make money with property, but an obvious one is to buy cheaply, do it up and sell for a profit. While it sounds simple enough, there is risk involved with flipping houses so you do need to do your research or speak to a professional who is knowledgeable about the property market. Many inexperienced property investors can concentrate too much on what they would want in a home themselves instead of what people who would be likely to buy would want. You also need to be aware of things like ‘ceiling price’ in different areas, because due to this, no matter how luxuriously you finish the property it will only ever sell for a limited price. The last thing you want is to end up in a situation where you’re stuck with a property and unable to sell it on for a while, or even where you lose money. Another option would be to rent out properties and get an income each month from tenants. You could do this in the country where you live or abroad. Sites like help you to easily find property, and if you get something that appeals to tourists you’re laughing all the way to the bank. As a bonus you could use it as a holiday home yourself whenever you wanted.

House Prices Soar Over 8 Months: Are Brexit Worries Over?

House prices have risen by 3.8% since January 2017, figures from estate agent YOPA show. This is far in excess of original predictions of 1.2%, and the figures – on the face of it at least- make for promising reading.

To put some context around this, after the Brexit vote on the 23rd June 2016 there was substantial volatility in the British economy, particularly in the currency markets, with sterling reaching historic lows against the dollar and the euro.

However, while the mood of the stock markets often reflects business sentiment, and currency makes a difference when it comes to trade, they are not always indicators of what’s going on in the general economy. For that, you need GDP, but even this often has a lag times in its reporting, and will often be for the previous quarter.

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Enter house prices.

House prices are essentially an indicator of consumer confidence, as they reflect how much people have to spend and how much people are willing to spend on the most basic of human needs: shelter. From a financial point of view, a house is the biggest purchase that most people will ever make, so they need to be confident of financial stability and the ability to pay off a mortgage over the long term. Uncertainty regarding job prospects tend to have a downwards effect on house prices, so GDP growth and house prices tend to broadly correlate.

Furthermore, house price data is regularly updated, especially from sources such as Rightmove, Halifax and Nationwide.

So what is this latest property data telling us?

At the beginning of the year, industry experts were, on average, expecting house prices to rise by 1.2% over 12 months. So far this year, that figure has been exceeded and now stands at 3.8%. If this rate continues, by December, house prices will have increased by more than 7%.

So do these house prices reflect a healthy economy unaffected by Brexit?

Part of the problem with calculating the effect of Brexit on the economy is that not much has changed. Although the United Kingdom voted out, we still have the customs union, the single market and everything else that affects our day-to-day lives. In addition, the country is still subject to European law and regulations. Free movement will continue until March 2019 – or perhaps even later. As a result, nobody really knows what’s going to happen.

One thing is for sure though; many people will be keeping a close eye on house prices as we approach March 2019!

Protect Yourself From Identity Theft In Seven Simple Steps

You might find it pretty shocking to hear that around nine million Americans have their identity stolen each year. That is a pretty large number of people, so could you be next? A lot of the time there are things that we could be doing to avoid this. It is not right for someone wandering around pretending to be you; not right at all. So in order to make more of a conscious effort to protect your identity, here are some steps that you can take.

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  • Protect Personal Information
    • In the US, a social security number is what you need to avoid others knowing. Don’t keep it in your wallet or share it with other people. The same goes for things like passports and banking details. Keep them somewhere secure, rather than having them accessible to others. Look to get ID documents that will have your biometrics on, like the Indian e-Aadhar card, for example. Those kinds of ID are much harder to defraud.
  • Change Your Passwords
    • Even if you live alone and don’t share your computer, you should be locking out of sites and programs and changing your passwords regularly. Choose passwords that are more safe, such as random words, rather than meaningful ones like your mother’s maiden name.
  • Clear Your Wallet
    • If you have cards or bank accounts that you simply do not use anymore, then cut up the cards into small pieces and cancel the accounts. Doing this often will help to protect you from identity fraud.
  • Check Bills and Statements Closely
    • Although it can feel like a nuisance to keep receipts and bills, it is so important to check on. If you check your bills and bank statements regularly, and match them to your spending, you can easily identify if people have used your card or found the details online. So check them closely and report any suspicious activity.
  • Use Computer Protection
    • There are many hackers that want to easily steal your information online. And if you don’t have any virus or malware protection software in place, then it can make it really easy for people to steal from you or take your online data. So get the software and regularly check it. It also pays to only use secure sites that have https in the address bar when buying things, rather than just http.
  • Get a Shredder
    • If you get a letter through the mail that isn’t any use or something you don’t need; don’t just throw it in the bin. Shred it. Even from a letter, you don’t need, it will have your name and address clearly printed on it. So shred any documents that you don’t need. Bank statements, payslips, or even insurance letters. If you no longer need them, make sure that you shred them.
  • Use a Free Credit Report Checker
    • Taking advantage of a free credit report is a good way to spot anything untoward. If someone has tried to apply for a credit card in your name, then it would show up on there. So check this regularly and report anything that wasn’t done by you.