The Finances of Shopping for a Car

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Posted by Daniel | Posted in Auto & Motor | Posted on 16-07-2012

Buying a car is usually a difficult experience. From haggling on price, to making sure that it’s not a lemon, there are so many different factors to consider. But then, once all the basics are covered, you have to figure out the finances of it. Are you going to buy or lease? If you buy, are you going to pay cash or look for car loans? Then what about after you own it? There are so many factors to consider, so here is a breakdown to give you some food for thought.

Buy or Lease?

The first question is should you buy or lease the car? Buying is usually the better option, especially if you are going to own the car for a long period of time (5 years or more). Leasing can sometimes be a good option if you don’t plan on keeping the car, but you need to be careful about fees, such as excess mileage. These fees can unexpectedly make leasing a much worse deal than buying.

If you buy you have to decide if you are going to pay cash or get a car loan. Most people do get a car loan, but you should really think about the cost of getting one. Many dealers try to sell you loans based on monthly payments, but what they don’t tell you is that the loan period could be for 5 years or longer, and you could end up paying a lot more interest than you intended. Make sure you read and fully understand any financing you get for your vehicle.

Insurance

The next thing to consider is insurance. If you get a car loan, or have a lease, you will most likely be required to maintain a basic level of insurance. Also, in most states, you are required to maintain a basic level of insurance as well.

When getting insurance, you have a few basic options, including basic liability, collision, and comprehensive. You should take into consideration the value of the car whenever you are looking at insurance, and don’t over-insure your vehicle.

Also, if you have a loan or a lease, you may want to consider gap insurance, which can cover any difference in cost between the value of your car and what you owe on your loan or lease, should the car become totaled in an accident.

Maintenance Plans

Finally, every car dealer tries to sell some type of maintenance or care plan with each car they sell. These plans are usually not worth what you pay up front, but they can provide peace of mind.

These plans usually offer maintenance or repairs. The maintenance plans will cover basic maintenance up to a certain mileage, such as oil changes and tire rotations. The repair plans will cover a myriad of repairs for covered parts up to a certain mileage or year as well. Just make sure that you read through the plans and see what is included before you assume anything.

Why You Should Consider All Business Insurance Options

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Posted by MJTM | Posted in Business Products & Services | Posted on 05-07-2012

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Depending on the nature of your business, you may need any number of different business insurance policies.  The main three types of business insurance policies that many small business owners and start-ups opt for are public liability insurance, employers’ liability insurance (with minimum cover of £5m) and professional indemnity insurance.   But of these three, many small businesses and start-ups only need public liability insurance if they neither have any employees nor offer professional advice and services.

There are several other types of business insurance policies available, though, and you should consider each in turn to decide whether or not your particular business requires them.  These include:

  • Business property insurance (to cover your business premises and equipment against fire, flood, theft etc.);
  • Tools and plant cover;
  • Revenue protection (through key person cover if your business relies on one or two peoples’ expertise or knowledge to exist, or business interruption service in case something happens that means you can’t trade for a limited period, e.g. after a fire).

Business insurance is ultimately very flexible in that you can pick and choose what types of cover you need and don’t have to pay for cover that isn’t necessary for your business.  Some insurers offer a combined policy for different types of cover, meaning you only have to pay one excess even if you have to claim against several elements of the policy.

For example, if your business premises set on fire and damaged a neighbour’s property, you may need to claim under your business property insurance (to effect the necessary repairs to your premises), business interruption insurance (to pay your outgoings whilst you are unable to use your premises) and public liability insurance (to pay for the repairs to the neighbour’s property).

Of all the types of business insurance policies available to all businesses, perhaps the most crucial is public liability insurance.  That’s because ultimately if your business suffers through theft, fire, flood or the death or illness of a key person, it is ‘only’ your business that will suffer – no-one is going to sue you for it, so you can contain your losses to your business.  That is easy to say, of course, and most small business owners will have invested considerably in setting up, and if you have adequate insurance in place you won’t have to worry at all.  But if you didn’t have adequate insurance and injured someone or caused damage to their property, they would sue you and you may end up losing more than your business – you could lose your home and any savings too.

Public liability cover is designed to cover levels of claim that you couldn’t possibly hope to pay for yourself.  If, for example, a customer caught their coat on a nail sticking out of your wall, you could no doubt afford to pay for the coat to be repaired or replaced without needing to go through your insurance.   Public liability insurance covers up to at least £1million but sometimes you may need a higher level of cover (particularly if your customers demand it).

Finally, if you take out public liability insurance, check the terms and conditions before you buy to make sure that no exclusions apply that would effectively mean that you could never claim.  For example, you may find a relatively cheap quote but discover that it wouldn’t cover you if you were working at height at the time of any incident – not much use if you’re a commercial window cleaner.

 

How the Japanese Economy is Picking Up

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Posted by MJTM | Posted in Financial | Posted on 17-06-2012

The Japanese economy has been picking up steam through 2012, shrugging off the aftermath of the Japanese Earthquake that struck over a year ago.  However, there are still problems that need to be addressed, especially political ones, that could hamper the growing recovery.  Here are some signs that the Japanese economy is recovering, especially as you compare economic analysis from the UK and the US.

 

Recent Financial Results

 

So far this year, consumer spending in Japan is in a recovery phase.  After the earthquake last March, consumer spending tanked, bringing down the economy with it. However, domestic spending is on the rise, and new car sales rose a whopping 31.9% last month, which is its sixth straight month of growth.

 

Department store sales have also been increasing, especially on the luxury end.  And finally, passenger traffic on Japanese airlines rose over 17%, which is a huge increase in travel traffic.  All of these signals point towards improving financial conditions.

 

 

Earthquake Recovery Bump

 

The recovery from the earthquake is also having positives effects on the economy.  It was unknown how long the added construction and rebuilding jobs would last, but it appears that the growth in these jobs and markets should remain strong for the next several years, as the country recovers from the earthquake.  So far, the government is estimated to spend a total of 18 trillion yen ($200 US Dollars), and that number is sure to rise as more areas are recovered.

 

The boost in earthquake recovery spending should have broad implications across various sectors, but especially industrial production and construction.  Both rose over the past 6 months, which is a good sign.

 

 

Exports Will Rebound

 

Finally, as the economy improves in the United States, more Japanese exports will be sold, thus boosting the economy.  Combined with the lowest yen levels in months, this is a welcome boost for the nation’s exporters, who should see a boost in overseas profits due to the exchange rate.

 

All of these signals bode well for a continued recovery in Japan.

How Savings Accounts Can Help You

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Posted by MJTM | Posted in Personal Finance | Posted on 14-06-2012

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A savings account isn’t just a place to park your money, but it is also a tool that can help you meet your money needs.  Whether you need to put your money into a savings account for the short term, or if it is an integral part of your retirement plan, a savings account can help you manage and plan for your money needs.

 

 

Easy Access

 

The first thing that is great about a savings account is access.  20 years ago, having a savings account meant that you had to go to the bank to transfer or withdraw your funds.  It was harder to use than a checking account (where you could just write a check), but it was safe and obviously cheaper than a www.paydayloansonline.com.  However, now with online banking, you can access your savings anywhere, and transfer funds as needed.  This gives you the benefits of a savings account (earning interest), while still maintaining easy access.

 

 

Safety and Security

 

Savings accounts also provide safety and security for your money.  When you apply for a savings account, you do so at a bank or credit union, which is FDIC insured.  This means that as long as your balance is under the FDIC minimum, you will never lose money by keeping your account at the bank.

 

Keeping your money at a bank is also infinitely more secure than storing large sums of money at your home.

 

 

Budgeting

 

Finally, a savings account can help you budget.  Many people use a savings account as a place to store their emergency funds, which is their savings in case something unexpected comes up.  A savings account is a great tool for that, since the money is safe, and it earns interest over time.  Also, since it is separate from your checking account, there is less incentive to spend the money.

 

Many people also open multiple savings accounts for multiple goals.  For example, there could be a college savings account, a vacation savings account, and more.  This allows you to set aside specific amounts for specific goals, all while having the safety, security, and access of a savings account.

Post by Robert

5 Reasons a Lender May Reject Your Mortgage Application

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Posted by MJTM | Posted in Home Products & Services, Real Estate | Posted on 18-05-2012

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The necessary paperwork that is mandatory to complete for a mortgage application can often be a difficult task to undertake. After finding your dream home, the last thing you want is to then find yourself receiving a call from the lender stating that they have declined the loan. You may even ask yourself what could have caused this to happen. Mortgage applications haven’t changed over the years but the current lending requirements have.

Today’s financial institutions have strict guidelines in place making it difficult for consumers to obtain a loan. The following are five factors that could have an impact on whether a financial institution will lend money for a mortgage.  

1. Changing Employment

Switching jobs may not have an impact on a person’s ability to qualify for a mortgage, but you may be at a disadvantage if you have recently changed companies. If you make a move within the company to a position with the same or greater pay scale, you shouldn’t need to worry.  People who are dependent on commissions or bonuses may suffer a greater risk of getting rejected by the lender. Financial institutions find applicants who have been with the company for two or more years more favourable when lending money. Those with the greatest disadvantage are people who leave a salaried position and start a business venture on their own. Lenders like to see stability and records from a two year period, so they can plan future income appropriately. Furthermore, an applicant that is self-employed could have more expenses to write off, and their income taxes reflect the minimal net income that is reported.

2. Changes in your Credit that have an Impact on Your Credit Score

Equifax, Experian or Transunion are a few of the companies that the lender may use to check the applicants credit history. It can take anywhere from one to three months for a home loan to go through, and the lender may do a final credit check before fully committing to a loan. It’s important to not do anything that could have a negative impact on your credit score during this time. The activities that could prevent your loan from going through include making a late payment, or applying for another type of loan or credit card. It’s in the consumer’s best interest to obtain a copy of their credit report and correct any items that are wrong.  

3. Failing to make your Current Mortgage or other Payments

People who fail to make their monthly mortgage payments or cannot pay their other bills are showing the lender that they are a poor credit risk. If an applicant is having a hard time paying their current mortgage, they should consult with the mortgage holder and see if there are any other options in place, so they can meet the repayment terms on their loan.

4. Too Much Credit Card Debt and Numerous Outstanding Loans

Lenders will take into account an individual’s consumer debt and the mortgage payment, and see how it correlates with their income. The basic rule most lenders follow is approximately 33 percent of an applicant’s gross income with an added five percent for consumer debt. The lender will also look into the available credit a borrower has to utilize, so you may want to think about closing a credit card account or reducing the maximum limit that is allowed.

5. Failure to Complete the Basics

Some financial institutions make it easy and are able to complete the loan application process over the phone. However, many institutions require the individual to physically fill out the form. It’s simple to make mistakes or leave items blank when an applicant rushes through the process and hasn’t filled out the necessary paperwork properly. A lending institution can refuse an application based on these mistakes, so you need to make sure to take the time and go over everything thoroughly. It’s also possible to hire a mortgage broker, attorney or financial adviser to help with the application process and have it all checked before presenting everything to the lender.  These are the primary reasons a lender may refuse an applicant’s mortgage. To make sure this doesn’t happen, an individual should maintain good credit and keep their debt ratio as low as possible. This will have a positive impact on whether their home mortgage is approved.

Bio

Andrew Potter is a finance and property expert and writes for www.myonlineestateagent.com. My Online Estate Agent provides a new alternative to your standard high-street estate agent.

How to Protect Your Business from Merchant Account Fraud

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Posted by Daniel | Posted in Business Products & Services | Posted on 21-03-2012

In order to protect your business from high risk merchant account fraud, you will find yourself in the position of having to be as smart and as clever as the crooks themselves. In a way, this amounts to a technological dance, with fraud detection solutions evolving in response to the latest schemes fraudsters devise to acquire and to use purloined credit card account information.

There are many transaction management utilities available that will give you access to the level of extensive reporting and data comparison necessary to monitor your transactions. The system itself is configured to alert you to suspicious activity, against which you can then take action. Normally when you apply for a merchant account, fraud detection systems will be recommended to you. In order to use these systems to their best advantage, it’s important to understand three core principles that define what you are trying to accomplish in detecting and responding to suspicious activity. These principles hold true regardless of the management utility you use.

First, establish thresholds for the processing of each order. These can range in complexity and be applied in any sequence that best suits your business. A threshold may be a dollar limit on an order, or even a total for a day, week, or other appropriate period. (Similarly you can set a limit for orders or sales in a given time period.) This level of sophistication is especially important in combating high risk merchant account fraud related to online payment processing.

Thresholds can be tied to specific IP addresses so only a given dollar or order amount can originate from that computer according to the parameters you establish. This prevents criminals who have acquired multiple stolen cards to test them all from one computer to see if they can accomplish an approved purchase. This kind of threshold monitoring is then tied to more specific bans directed at particular users. You can exclude an IP address, a given credit card number, a bank bin number, or even geographic regions that seem to be the source of the potentially fraudulent activity.

It is just as important, however, for any fraud protection system to also give you the flexibility to establish exclusions or overrides. This will ensure that your legitimate and honest customers are not penalized by the bans and limits put in place to shut down the crooks. Always remember when you are evaluating a fraud detection and prevention system that you are both trying to stop the crooks and protect your legitimate customers without compromising the ease with which they can use their cards to make a purchase from you.

What Is Boosting The New Zealand Dollar On The Foreign Exchange Market?

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Posted by MJTM | Posted in Investment | Posted on 02-03-2012

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Europe is going to hell in a hand basket. Iran is poised to hold the world to ransom for its oil. So what’s giving the New Zealand dollar a boost?

 

Last night, EU officials agreed a bailout for Greece that no one seriously believes is going to save it. In Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is turning off the pipelines to the West for daring to interfere with his nuclear weapons programme. In the world in general, developed economies are still struggling to recover from a global crisis that almost spelt the end of capitalism as we know it.

 

You might not think these are circumstances that would encourage riskier investments, including in small economies like New Zealand. Nonetheless, the New Zealand dollar is doing brisk business, presently at a 5-month high against the US dollar and a 3-month high against the pound. So what’s the deal?

 

Glass-Half-Fullism Among Foreign Exchange Investors

 

One reason the NZ dollar is flying high is that foreign exchange investors are glass-half-full kind of people. They spot good news, and they latch onto it like it’s the last turkey on the shelf at Christmas.

 

For instance then, reports that the US recovery is picking up pace have buoyed the New Zealand dollar. For the past three months, job creation in the US has exceeded the wildest dreams of investors, helping to boost consumer confidence and retail sales. This encourages investors to stop nervously biting their fingernails, and get buying. Hence the rising New Zealand dollar.

 

New Zealand Is Rising (And Foreign Exchange Investors Know It)

 

Second of all, there is NZD strength because New Zealand is a rising star. In the past decade or so, New Zealand has become the premier distributor to China for milk products (I kid ye not) creating a behemoth new source of revenue for its dairy industry. This is giving its economy a huge boost.

 

In addition, New Zealand is enjoying a strong job market and consumer confidence, in spite of the earthquakes in Christchurch 12 months ago. Unemployment fell –0.2% to just 6.3% last month for instance, putting its unemployment rate among the lowest in the developed world. Retail sales meanwhile jumped 2.2%, also indicating optimism among consumers.

 

This guest post was contributed by Michael Smith from foreign exchange specialists Pure FX.

 

12 Steps to Financially Safe-Guard Your Home and your Kitten

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Posted by MJTM | Posted in Family Life | Posted on 01-02-2012

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Start by looking at your home from the eyes of a curious, playful fur ball and consider what’s worth protecting

You will certainly be excited when you first bring your cute, net kitten home. However, owning a kitten is like having a newborn around the house—one that gets into everything and one that can, potentially, cost you a bundle! Having a new pet involves is a huge responsibility and cost, especially if that pet is an active, playful, curious and mischievous kitten. Unfortunately, a kitten’s natural curiosity can be fatal and costly to it’s new owner if you don’t kitten-proof your home ahead of their arrival to safe-guard your belongings and kitten’s wellbeing.

The key to kitten-proofing is to look at your home through the eyes of a curious cat. Pick out everything that looks like a fun toy—it could include needles and thread, electrical cords, etc.—and if it’s something that could be dangerous put it out of kitten’s reach or get rid of it. Or else you can expect your kitten will need to be rushed to the veterinarian to dislodge something from its throat. Emergency vet surgery is not only extremely costly, ranging from $600 to $1,600 for an obstruction in the throat or bowel, plus the Canadian drugs to treat your kitten, which can cost hundreds of dollars, even when purchased online. Unfortunately, strewn objects left around the home can also end in the tragic death of your beloved new pet.

Each room in your home will have dangers in store for a curious, playful feline. That’s why I’ve put together the following 12-step guide to kitten proofing your home…

Step 1

Explore your home for items that kitty might break and for harmful substances that he or she could eat. Don’t forget to look on high shelves and in hidden nooks. Don’t underestimate a high spot a kitten can jump to or squeeze into—if you can see it; they can reach it!

Step 2

Keep small items that kitten might ingest locked away in air-tight containers. This includes items like needles and thread, holiday ribbon, hair ties, and anything stringy that might appear a plaything to a small cat.

Step 3

Tuck away the cords to your window blinds or curtains. Your cat will jump to play with these and will be strangled if he or she gets tangled up. Simply tuck and tie cords using a rubber band so they don’t’ hang down.

Step 4

Trust me when I say that air-tight wastebaskets and kitchen garbage cans will be your saving grace—that’s if you don’t want kitten littering through your garbage and eating whatever he or she finds. Or else kitten may end up in emergency getting his or her tummy pumped or taking a costly remedy for indigestion.

Step 5

Keep your dryer door closed. Kittens seek out dark, warm places to hide and to sleep because it makes them feel secure. However, if your kitten hides in the dryer and can’t get out, they could die.

Step 6

Same goes for your cupboard doors and dresser drawers—if a cat can get inside to snoop, he or she will. Kittens limbs can be broken or injured you close a drawer and they can eat toxic cleaners kept under your sink. Use baby-safe fasteners if your cabinets don’t shut tight.

Step 7

You know that the toilet is not for drinking, but kitty doesn’t. So keep the lid down to stop kitten from falling in and drowning or injuring him or herself.

Step 8

Keep things like antifreeze in a separate shed or garage with the door closed. Anti-freeze, although tasty to cats and dogs is fatal when ingested. Plus fomepizole, the drug used to treat antifreeze toxicity in pets costs about $240 per vial (with multiple vials required based on toxicity levels and pet weight).

Step 9

Cover or tuck electric cords under the wall trim to avoid any playful bites from kitten.

Step 10

Check online to see if your household plants are toxic to cats. If there are green leaves, your kitten will chew on these, but plants like lilies and poinsettias are poisonous.

Step 11

Change to animal-safe household products—such as insect repellant, floor cleaner, window cleaner and counter-top sanitizer.

Step 12

If your kitten is a little too curious for his or her own good, use a natural, animal-friendly bitter Apple or lemon scented spray, which cats dislike, to deter them.

Post by Brenda

How One Can Repair Your Credit And Consolidate Your Debts With Simple Financial Administration

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Posted by jamie | Posted in Business Products & Services | Posted on 17-01-2012

A great deal of individuals are experiencing financial issues at some point inside lives. This is enjoyed in the growing credit card bills, unpaid mortgages, plus the ever-increasing home loans plus the loves. Meaning, every person is very much dependent with the allowable amount of credit which depends on the people credit history. Consequently, a wise credit history is very much important with for every individual with have the ability to enjoy a good credit score so as with be allowed with have a tremendous credit maximum. To have the ability with do this, a credit repair debt consolidation is an important method that could be done properly as it is expected to be in order with succeed.

A credit repair debt consolidation is a permissible way to receive a better credit score. Whatever the financial status of the individual, really, all us are in some kind of the consumer debt that we would want to fuse. Whether it is very a small debt including credit card bills, or bigger debts including home loans, it is very always a smarter way to consolidate all your credits to enjoy a greater view of all your debts as well as for you with be aware on how bigger it gets in the event you nonetheless continue with use your credits and without paying all due interests. It will be very hard to enjoy a good credit score and credit history. Moreover, credit card repair debt consolidation keeps you in control of all your debts. Some techniques are produced in order with avoid from having a bad credit.

Initially thing that you need to do is with ask for a copy of your newest credit record every three with four months so you can carefully keep an eye with all your debts. Carefully examining your records including inaccurate reports like belated installments that did not happen could help you boost your credit score. Second thing that you need to do is with prioritize each debt that you have and pay each of them off according with your concern. Always remember with initial pay the debt that causes you almost all of your financial sufferings. You must try with pay initial your debt with all the highest interest and pay the minimum dues for the additional remaining debts until you finished paying off the initial debt, subsequently you can presently proceed with pay the debt with second highest interest.

The third thing with do is with pay on a regular basis and you must pay on time or before the due date. Through paying before the due date or paying on time, your credit score might probably maintain or better, it might boost.
The last but not the smallest, you need to acquire a credit card that is secured and might not only help you boost your overall credit score and makes your credit repair debt consolidation battle a swift and a not too difficult procedure with do so. Paying off all your debts is not that simple but if the procedure is carried out religiously, your credit repair debt consolidation approach might be your key towards a financial freedom.

Seek financial help from a credit expert to get your credit debt under control.

Shop Around For Your Life Insurance & Save A Fortune!

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Posted by jamie | Posted in Personal Product & Services | Posted on 14-01-2012

It pays to shop around when buying your life insurance.  By way of an example a couple aged 30 years of age requiring $500,000 life insurance on each life to pay off their mortgage, short term debt and have a small cash reserve  in the event of death stand to save $96 in the first year alone.
 
The comparison between eleven insurers showed first year premiums ranged between $609 and $705 for an identical product which pays out $500,000 cash on death.

By completing a search on Internet you will have access to numerous quotes from different providers allowing you to compare a number of insurance companies simultaneously which will enable you to get a an idea of cost

You can save a fortune by completing your own needs analysis using online life insurance calculators which are freely available on the internet. Two such sites are the Retirement Commissions Get Sorted Site and Consumer.

By completing your own needs analysis, shopping around and purchasing online you could save up to an additional 50% of the premium in the first year by way of a cash rebate from the online provider.
 
Life insurance is a premium you will pay (we hope!) for a long time. Therefore it is important to consider affordability.

But you don’t want to let cost blind you to an equally important concern: reliability.

Will the chosen insurer have the longevity and reliability you need? At a time when financial institutions have been rocked by instability and waning consumer confidence, it is important that you check out the insurers claims paying ability by its financial strength.

International Research houses such as AM Best Company Inc’s can provide you with this information.

When deciding how much life insurance coverage you should have, don’t just think about your home loan. If you have young children, they’ll need financial help for college education in the future. Although it’s not nice, consider worst-case scenarios. Should you unexpectedly die in the near future, how much debt will you leave behind? Make sure you allow for any credit card debt or personal loans. You also want to ensure that your funeral expenses are covered.

You should review your insurances at least every two years and alter your life insurance cover based on the financial circumstances at that time. If you have paid down debt reduce your cover accordingly conversely if you have increased debt you should increase your life insurance to reflect this