Financial Spring Cleaning! Why do I Need it?

Just as much as you would pay attention to your drawers and closets for spring cleaning, it is important that you look into where your finances stand.

Organize Yourself for a Better View

As tax season comes close, you can’t just spend the last month scrambling and leave your documents in disarray. You should make a habit of using a show box where you toss in all your receipts that you have for the year, and reserve a drawer for the documents that you will need when you prepare your taxes. Organizing everything and making sure that you have all the necessary items that you will require in April is a great way to put yourself at ease, and also be on time for filing taxes.

Update the Budget

Think about how the budget plan that you followed for the last year worked for you. This time around you need to update it; a lot can happen in a year. If you got promoted and got a raise, you need an entirely new plan on how to spend and save. If you took a new loan, you might have to use your savings, and stick to a new savings regimen too.

Check your Credit Score

Credit scores can scare anyone. It is important that you know where you stand. You might find that you are doing a great job and for that you might feel confident applying for the new loan. Or, you might find that you are going downhill with your credit score, and that should be a signal that you curb credit card spending pronto.

Round off Everything

When you review your finances, make sure that you make things easier for yourself by rounding off things and removing decimals that make you mad. If this is the time of the year that you have to transfer money to your savings account, make sure you do it in increments of $500. If your credit card bill ends in decimals, make sure that you reserve money for the next whole number. This way you won’t be confused of how much you should budget.

Shred Documents You Do Not Need

Having an uncluttered and clean workspace means that you organize every one of your financial documents, tax information, and receipts. This is the time that you make two piles, the documents that you need, and the outdated ones that are only taking space and should remind you that you need to update for new ones. Get rid of the ones you don’t need.

Clear Off That Big Debt

In case you have been caught up, and are only now reviewing your finances, see which outstanding debts you can pay and have not already and make the payments. It is possible that you forgot that credit shared to your card for a certain vacation expense. Leaving it be is only going to ruin your credit score.…

Making the Most of Student Bank Accounts

If you are a student, start saving while you are studying!

As a student, managing money can be very difficult. But, with the right bank to establish your student account you can study and save at the same time!

When it comes to a bank account, you are certainly at benefit. Banks will offer you a wide range of perks and privileges to exclusive discounts. However, additional perks and benefits offered by banks will solely depend on its ranking.

Here are a few things to consider that can help you to make the most out of your student bank accounts:

Focus on the ‘Free’

By definition (and facts) students do not have a lot of money as they are usually funded by parents/guardian. Therefore (by nature)—you should be conscious when it comes to fee charges that would eat up most of your saved funds.

Financial experts recommend students to focus on banks that offer student accounts with: Zero maintenance fees, no minimum balance payment, free of cost debit and ATM cards, free of cost online banking, free check books, etc.

Blend it up

As a student, your savings and checking account does not necessarily need to be in the same bank. This is especially true when it comes to high returns on savings account in another bank. One bank might offer you best shopping deals and rewards while other can offer you better returns on savings. So, explore the bank market and look for all available options to get the best for you.

Explore

Generally, students are bound to open a student bank account to the nearest bank possible. But, that is a big NO. Do not opt for a bank just because it is near your school/university or only because it has tied up with your institution. As a matter of fact, financial guru’s advice students to explore into all banks first in order to determine which best suit your financial needs.

Check out ATM convenience

A checking account is what you need in order to get easy and fast access to cash. So, in order to access money, make sure to look out for banks that have ATM branches spread over. For example, most national banks will generally have their branches and ATM machines scattered throughout the city/country.

Likewise, you can look into banks that offer zero or minimum fee on ATM transactions and transfers (especially for students living abroad and require frequent money transfers from their respective guardians)

Think

It is always good to think ahead. When you apply for a student bank account, be aware of the age limit criteria that allow you to keep such an account. In most cases, when you cross the age, the account is automatically transformed into a standard saving account, and this might cause you extra fee which was initially waved in a student bank account.

The aforementioned information and tips can help you to make the most out of your student bank account and teach you diligent financial planning for future.…

True Financial Independence — 7 Keys to Achieving It

Almost everyone wants to be financially independent but why is it that only a few people are truly independent while maintaining a great lifestyle for themselves? These people generally have a good plan that helps them to go about. If you want to be financially independent and successful, read the following steps.

Be Sure About It

A lot of times people don’t achieve financial independence because they are afraid of it or aren’t committed enough. If you have a plan, you should follow it. Remember that you won’t go from 0 to 100 in one year. Financial independence is a complicated process and it takes a lot of time. If you have just started saving, you won’t put half of your paycheck aside. You will start with a small amount and will increase it with the passage of time. There are a few things that you need to know:

  • Know what financial independence is for you
  • Be realistic in your approach
  • Asses your goals and see how you will meet them

Plan Out Your Journey

You need to plan out your journey because financially independence consists of a number of different goals. You will have to establish a number of different goals that will change when the following things will change:

  • Increase of income
  • Change in spending habits
  • Paying off student loan
  • Settling credit card debt
  • Comprehending the saving patterns
  • Change in investment patterns

Avoid Overspending Money

If you want to become successful in life, you will have to stop overspending the money. Stop meeting the people who force you to overspend your money. Do not surround yourself with people who live in the moment because these are the kind of people who don’t think about the future.

Move Forward In Life

Your career and business should be your priority if you want to do something with your life. Make sure that your income increases at a steady rate because that will help you reach your goal much quickly.

Save Money

You should promise yourself that you will save money no matter what. Your main approach should involve decreasing your expenses and increasing your source of income. Have a look at your saving goals and see where they will take you a few years down the road.

Invest In Things

Investment is a surefire way to increase your income. Remember that the larger your investment portfolio will be, the more successful you will be in achieving your goals. Make sure that your emergency fund is well stocked before you move to investment. You should have a sound understanding of the investment market because sometimes it is not a good idea to invest. Your investments should be diverse and you should make it a point to invest in real estate, stocks, fixed income investments, and even natural resources.

Commit To Goals

Make sure that your goals are on track and will actually help you become financially independent.…

How to maximize your returns from SIP or Systematic Investment Plans?

Fund houses in the USA will allow making investment on certain dates of the month. If you are holding multiple SIPs, it would be better not to make payment for them in a single day. You should try and stagger the payment all through the month. This way, you can enjoy liquidity in your savings as the money is not drained out completely. You also tend to negate the effect of adverse movement of market. If you have been considering SIP investment, it is important to know certain investment facts. This will maximize the returns. The component of general finance, SIP, gives tremendous opportunity to make money. Let us check out the tips.

It is true that monthly payment has to be made but you must set up yearly investment plan. In fact, there is no need to stick to the fixed amount which has to be paid every month. You must try to ensure that SIP amount increases with your income in proportion. To keep pace with inflation and your changing lifestyles, adopt step-up approach in systematic investment plan. The surplus amount can be directed to the existing funds rather than on new ones.

Your withdrawal and transfer plan must be completely systematic. It is true that one needs to have in the bank sufficient amount for monthly SIP transfers but it is not necessary to have that in lump sum. You will not enjoy high returns by having big amount in the bank. It is recommended you put lump sum money in your liquid fund and offer instructions for transferring fixed amounts. Liquid fund will fetch higher returns and thus it is advisable you ask for the transfer of fixed sum to your chosen equity scheme. When you reach financial goal, choose SWP for withdrawing your money at regular intervals.

INVEST FOR MARKET

Try and invest for the entire market cycle and do not terminate. There are many individuals who make the mistake of starting SIP for mutual funds and then terminating it as soon as the market declines.

DEFEATS THE PURPOSE

This should be avoided at any cost since this defeats the purpose of SIP investment altogether. When you exit from the market, you forgo the opportunity of buying more mutual fund units at lower cost.

 

If you stay all through the market cycle, you can average out your purchase cost over the period of time.

It is crucial to link your SIP investment to the financial goals. Link your investment to any of the specific goals. To avoid investing in a haphazard manner, invest with some aim in the mind. Make a list of goals and fix some time frame for their realization.
SIP must be undertaken over a long term horizon. The systematic investment option lets you create a lot of wealth if you are patient.

The amount you invest is fixed and what changes here is just the asset value. Here you need not invest the amount in lump sum.

To invest in a disciplined manner or instill discipline in your investment, you must consider SIP.…