Wednesday, January 26, 2011

After All Saving Money is not that Difficult

Not all of us are fond of saving money. Some find it hard while others treat it like a chore. Others find it difficult to find any extra in their budget to save. But the truth is saving is not that hard. Below are some tips that will let you overcome your reasons for avoiding saving.

Keep big bills: If you have big bills in your wallet, you find it hard to spend them. Why? You feel a psychological agony whenever you try to break that big bill, mainly for buying things like coffee or gum. You are more likely to decide not to buy them than if you have coins in your wallet. Spending them does not hurt as much as the bigger bills do.

Put your extras into savings: Instead of paying with your debit or credit card, switch to paying with cash. You can generate a lot of change at the end of the day. You can later put them in a jar as your savings. You can start with coins then shift to saving small bills. This may be the best way to save money fast.

Save by taking advantage of coupons and sales: After which, save the savings that you get out of using coupons and buying on a great sale.

Do automatic saving: Set an amount to be deducted from your paycheck every month and deposit it in your savings account. Never buy based on an impulse.

Pay online: Pay your bill online and avoid paying for postage. The amount you save should be dropped into your savings jar.

Got a raise? Save it: If you got lucky and got a raise, save it. Make sure, though, that you do not need it to cover your bills. Have the extra amount moved to your savings account.

Save your extra paychecks: This is applicable if you are paid weekly or bi-weekly as it is likely that you will get an extra check on some months. Your budget is often figured on two checks per month so you can bank the extra check.

Save by switching providers: Save the difference you get when switching to a provider that offers a lower price package.

Save your credit card rewards: Some credit cards offer cash back. Save your reward money.

Pack your lunch: Instead of eating out, why not bring food to work? You can use the money that you would have spent on lunch as your savings.

Save the difference: If your current bill is less than what you expected, save the difference.

Cut down on personal entertainment expenses: Instead of buying a movie ticket, you can watch a rented DVD. You can also make your own snack and throw the amount you would have spent on popcorn into your piggy bank.

Buy in bulk: Instead of buying in small quantities, you can save a hefty amount buy buying in bulk. Save the difference that you get.

Always remember that you can never acquire money by spending it. If you train yourself into saving little bits of money, it will add up into a neat sum after a year.

You can use all these strategies to save money, reduce debt and improve your life but it will not last unless you have a system automatically set up to continually work without your input. Get Dan Cavalli's FREE money saving secrets set on auto pilot at:

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Best Options for Investments in 2011

We work hard in order to live the lifestyle we want, and support the future we dream of. However, working hard for our money is not enough – you have to make sure your money keeps working hard for you long after it has been paid into your bank account. Your salary and earnings can’t get you to the future of your dreams on their own, you have to direct and guide your funds into investments which are right for your finances, your needs, your goals and the current economy.

Financial markets tend to run in cycles, something you will have noticed if you watch the movements of official interest rates. Therefore, it is important to know which investment option is at the top of its cycle in 2011, so you can make the most of your hard earned cash. In 2009, significant gains could be made on the stock market, and in 2010 the real estate market was paying big dividends for investors where residential real estate investors in particular could see returns of between 50-100%. At the same time, the stock market in 2010 was returning just 18% and gold returned around 30%.

Therefore, even though we have said goodbye to 2010, we are still in the 2010-11 financial year and investment decisions need to be made with both the not-long-past recession and the future opportunities in mind.

Investing in Gold in 2011

Gold is often used as a safe haven by investors when there is the risk of a recession, interest rates are fluctuating and to protect against inflation. Although gold has long been a popular investment option, the fluctuations in price cannot be ignored, for example gold hit a low of $100 in 1976 before rising to $850 in 1980. Although gold dropped again to $250 in 2001 it has been rising ever since and topped $1,400 in December of 2010.

However, the world economies are stabilising and the risk of recession is abating and so while gold is expected to stabilise in 2011 it is not an investment option which will show a lot of growth in the coming year. Therefore if you are already invested in gold or gold funds, you may want to consider cutting back your money there, and avoiding the investment if you’re new to the precious metal.

Currency and Forex Investment in 2011

The foreign exchange market is constantly on the move and the currency which is the best investment can change at a moment’s notice. Therefore, you should always be aware of what is happening in the currency market regardless of the turn of a calendar and if you were watching at the close of 2010, you will have noticed many currency pairs falling significantly in their averages. If these falls continue throughout 2011, there will be a comparatively small trading range for the day’s trades every day.

At the same time, you can make money on the forex market in 2011 by looking at longer term trades. Since the trading ranges are small in the current market, especially in the main pairs you should look at an everyday chart to spot the overall trend and look at a four hour chart so you can pick your entry and exit points. The main pairs on the currency market will always match technical analysis on long time frames and all you have to do is locate one or two high odds trading opportunities each week.

Since there has been such instability in many economies in recent years, the forex market has become a very popular investment option. If you’re only just starting out in currency investment, consider using a managed forex account to help you navigate the changing market as many countries continue their path to recovery.

Real Estate Investment in 2011

Investments which are ‘as safe as houses’ tend to be very popular, even as the world economies emerge from slumps and step back from the brink of recession in most areas. If the memories of falling stocks and lost investment interest are still fresh in your mind you may be looking to property investment in 2011. Many countries have experienced a property price boom in response to low interest rates and high demand from first time buyers and investors, thanks to generous government incentives to keep economies strong. As a result , investment in the Australian or Indian property markets for example would see you buying at the top end of the price cycle, but is good news if you have already secured your property.

However, in the US for example property prices are still relatively low as the economy struggles to recover fully, and there is little demand. While interest rates in the US remain low, it is still hard for many Americans to borrow due to other debts, a ruined credit rating or unemployment. Therefore, if you have the means and the opportunity to invest in property in 2011, you could snap up a bargain this year, which will inevitably appreciate in value over the long term.

Saving Your Money in 2011

You may think that squirreling your money away in a saving account will never go out of style but as the Global Financial Crisis taught us, even the biggest of banks can fail, and take our money with them. Therefore, you need to make sure you research and diversify your savings investments for 2011 to make sure you get the best returns, your savings can beat inflation, and that they’ll be there when you need them.

Four savings investments you should consider for 2011 include:

1. Certificate of Deposit.

A certificate of deposit offers some of the highest interest rates available because you are locking in your savings for between one month and five years. To make the most of interest rate movements in 2011, opt for both long and short CD accounts so you can take advantage of new higher rates as they change.

2. Online money market accounts.

When you use an entirely online account you can secure a high interest rate on your savings because of the lower administration costs from the banks. In some cases these interest rates can even rival Certificate of Deposit interest rates. With an online account you can also quickly and easily transfer funds in and out, but are not tempted to spend because the account is not linked to your ATM or EFTPOS card.

3. Instalment savings account.

If you need a bit of encouragement or motivation to grow your savings investments in 2011, consider an instalment savings account where you agree to make regular payments to the account for a certain period of time. There can be penalties for withdrawing money early as a further incentive to save but if you shop around for the best savings account offer you can earn high interest by playing by the rules.

4. TIPS mutual funds.

TIPS are bonds which are issued by the US treasury and pay a return based on the adjusted principal value of the bond. The value is adjusted twice a year with the rate of the consumer price index so your TIPS mutual funds can always keep up with inflation. Banks can sometimes be slow to raise the interest rates on their savings accounts because the Federal Reserve is determined to keep interest rates low. However, with an affordable TIPS mutual fund your savings are protected against rising inflation.

No matter what year it is, or what the market is doing, it always makes good investment sense to diversify your investments across a number of options. This not only allows you to take advantage of changes and movements in a variety of areas in the economy, but also protects you if 2011 doesn’t bring the prosperity expected for a particular investment medium.

Alban is a personal finance writer at Home Loan Finder, a home loan comparison website

Sunday, January 9, 2011

How Can You Save Your Hard Earned Money Quickly?

We all know the importance of saving money. It can be a challenge, however, if you are already under pressure with your household expenses. Here is a guide to saving money fast that can help you save for an emergency.

1. Set Goals

You should start by figuring out the amount you need to save. According to experts, you should have a minimum of six months worth of savings just in case you'll end up losing your job. But having a year-worth of savings can be a wise move.

To be prepared for any situation, make a note of your goal and figure out exactly how much you need to save. Create a game plan, but make sure that you consider the most realistic length of time it will take you to attain the said amount.

2. Keep Track of Your Savings

Apart from being aware of how much you are saving, you also have to consider where you are spending your money. Track your expenses so you will have an idea where your money went and think about where you can hold back. If uncertain, keep a monthly record and check what were unnecessary.

3. Eat at Home

Meals can also be a huge part. Aside from being healthy, eating home-cooked meals can also help you with your money-saving endeavor. You won't lose with this choice.

4. Use Coins

Carrying a lot of coins can be awkward for some people. They will sooner or later wind up on the street, stuck in the couch or in an old coin purse. People do not think about the value of saving money when it comes to coins because they think these do not have much worth. But if you think about it, they do have a great value!

On a related note, keep a piggy bank around. After a month, you will be surprised at how much money you have saved.

5. Take Advantage of Freebies

Whenever you pay, make certain that you are really paying the lowest amount. Don't pay for something in a store when another store can give you the same thing for free. Always check that you will get your money's worth.

6. Use Coupons

Mail-in coupons often give you discounts. Make sure you save them and use them on things that you will eventually buy. Use them to cut down on your expenses.

7. Sell Stuff You Don't Use

You can easily sell your unused belongings by setting up shop in shopping websites. You should never discard them whenever you see extra items lying around your house.

8. Do Christmas Shopping in Advance

If you are considering Christmas shopping, why not do it after Christmas day? Many have managed to save thousands of dollars by applying this basic shopping principle.

9. Get Your Hands on Free Books

Instead of buying books to read, why not go to the library? Libraries will not cost you anything. You should always take advantage of this!

10. Earn Extra Income

Rent out the extra room in your house if it is available, especially if you live near a college. Be creative and find opportunities that can lead to an extra income. Follow this guide to saving money fast and you'll be on your way to wealth!

You can use all these strategies to save money, reduce debt and improve your life but it will not last unless you have a system automatically set up to continually work without your input. Get Dan Cavalli’s FREE money saving secrets set on auto pilot at:

Building a Long-Term Savings Plan: Your Guide to Saving Money Long Term

Sure, you know how to spend your money. But do you know how to save it? If saving seems like a far-fetched idea for you, it’s time you change your attitude about money. It’s wise to have your long-term financial goals in place while you’re still young so that you will feel financially comfortable and secure in the long run. Over time, you will realise it is the best decision you have ever made in your life. What you need is a comprehensive guide to saving money long term to start your way to financial freedom.

Before you get to know how to save money for the long term, you have to determine first your motivations for doing so. Starting your long-term savings plan as early as now gives you more time to grow your money. The longer time it takes your money to grow, the higher return you will get out of your investment in the future. An attractive benefit of having a long-term savings fund is a worry-free retirement.

You will have a peace of mind because your savings will take care of your financial needs during your retirement years. Also, if you’re thinking about buying your first home or car, saving for the long term can help you with that. Lastly, building a long-term savings plan teaches you the value of financial responsibility. By saving a part of your earnings regularly, you learn how to manage your finances efficiently. And when you’re already equipped with great financial skills, you are less likely to drown yourself in a sea of debts.

Once you have determined your reasons for having a long-term savings fund, make sure you are well-prepared for it. Using the right techniques prove to be helpful in growing your long-term savings fund. These strategies will serve as your guide to saving money long term. Where do you get them? Research, get expert opinions, and keep yourself updated on the latest developments in the economy. That way, you discover your options as well as great opportunities for getting the most return out of your savings or investments.

You will also need discipline to achieve your long-term financial goals. Every so often, it is tempting to use your savings to spend for other expenses like emergencies, travel, and other needs. To avoid falling into that trap, try your best to put up a separate emergency fund and other short-term savings accounts so that you can easily access money whenever you really need it. If you want to make sure you have enough money to send your children to college someday, you have to set up an educational savings fund to cover for those expenses.

Lastly, commitment is critical for a long-term savings plan. Without it, you just put your initial efforts into waste. What’s the use of a guide to saving money long term if you’re not committed enough to sustain your savings? Focus on your goals and you will never have to worry about your financial future.

You can use all these strategies to save money, reduce debt and improve your life but it will not last unless you have a system automatically set up to continually work without your input. Get Dan Cavalli's FREE money saving secrets set on auto pilot at: