Sunday, February 18, 2018

4 Financial Plans You Need to Have down When Starting a Family

The decision to start a family is a big one, and whether the decision is a deliberate, well thought out one or a sudden one, there are some plans you should get into place. Families can be expensive, and planning ahead can help ease the burden. Here are four financial plans you should have in place when starting a family.

Maternity and Paternity Leave

You need to look at your state’s laws and company policy regarding leave for having a baby. Do you get time off? How much time? Is it paid or unpaid? Can you use vacation, sick time, or short-term disability to supplement the time off or the possibly lost income? 

This information is important to help you figure out your budget not only for the weeks after the baby’s arrival, but for the whole first year.

Start or Add to Your Emergency Fund

An emergency fund with no less than three to six months’ worth of expenses in it is critical to ensuring that your family can stay on financial track. If you don’t already have an emergency fund, now’s the time to start it. 

If you do have one, but don’t have enough, add to it now. Even if you already have three to six months in it, consider adding more. Babies can be expensive, and it’s better to be over-prepared than under.

Meet with a Bankruptcy Lawyer

After the baby arrives, you’ll have new expenses: child care, baby clothes, baby food, and more. You may want life insurance on your baby, or to increase your own. You may also want to look into disability insurance, start or add to your retirement fund, or start an education fund for your new addition. 

If you’re already in debt though, these plans can seem unreachable. Meeting with a bankruptcy lawyer can accomplish a couple of things. One, they can help you file for bankruptcy if that’s the right option for you. 

Second, depending on the types and amount of debt, they may be able to help you come up with a plan to pay off your debt without filing for bankruptcy that still puts you in a better financial position.

Write or Adjust Your Will

Once you have a child, everything changes. You’ll want to make sure that your child is cared for after your death, particularly if it happens sooner and more unexpectedly than you’d like. 

Making sure that your will is up to date to reflect your wishes regarding your child’s guardian(s), as well as how you want your estate distributed, will make things much easier on those left behind.

Starting a family is a beautiful time for most couples. A few easy financial tweaks can ensure that it remains a beautiful time, rather than becoming a stressful, worrying time.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Stocks or Not? 3 Major Methods of Investment and How They Work

If you’ve read much financial advice, you’ve probably heard at some point that the key to prosperity is making your money work for you. One of the most common ways to do this is to invest your money, but this isn’t as simple as it sounds, because there are many methods of investment out there. Here are three of the most common and how they work.


The stock market is what usually comes to mind when people think of investing. With this investment method, you’re buying one or more shares of a company. If the company’s value increases and its stock price goes up, then you’ll make money, and vice versa. 

Although the stock market’s overall value tends to go up over time, plenty of companies fail, meaning it’s important not to risk too much on unestablished companies. 

Another way to invest in stocks is to choose an index fund that encompasses a variety of companies. This makes it easier to build a diverse portfolio and reduce your risk of losing all your money from one company tanking.

Real Estate

Real estate investing is another popular investing method, and there are multiple ways to make money from your real estate. The simplest is to purchase real estate and wait for the value to increase. 

You’ll then have a more valuable asset then you originally purchased, and with a mortgage, you can get the leverage to buy real estate worth much more than you have saved up. 

You could also purchase real estate, and then rent that property out. Not only will you own the property, but you’ll be making money from it.


Commodities cover a wide range of raw materials. These include gas, oil, agricultural products and precious metals, such as gold, silver, and platinum. Precious metals are popular because it can be purchased easily online from businesses like Rocky Mountain Coin in different forms. 

Although commodities are often volatile, they offer a way to diversify your portfolio, and there’s the potential for high returns if you purchase a commodity that comes into high demand. 

That volatility can work against you, though, and it’s important not to let any major swings in your commodity’s value scare you and force you into rash decisions.

Investing may be the wisest financial decisions you make. No matter which of the options above you select, make sure the bulk of your portfolio is in lower risk investments that should deliver a steady return on your money.

DIY Metal Buildings: 5 Things You Should Avoid In the Construction Phase

Using a steel building kit for your construction project in Denver has many advantages. Aside from allowing you to set up your frame easily and quickly, it also enables you to meet project timelines earlier. Whether you already know a lot about putting up steel buildings or have just started bidding on related projects, the key is to ensure that whatever is erected stays there for a long time. 

As with any construction job, there is a right and wrong way to do things, even with pre-fabricated building systems. Fortunately, you do not have to be a construction expert to get the work done. 

With the help of easy-to-follow and detailed plans and diagrams, a manual, and some friends, you can take the DIY approach to finally getting that carport, hobby shed, garage, or barn erected. 

Of course, then the project becomes more complex, you will need the support of an experienced and licensed contractor to ensure that everything is in order and all quality and safety guidelines are met.

But let's focus on the small projects for now. Here are 5 things you should avoid doing when working on DIY metal buildings.

1. You forgot to secure the proper permits

Building ordinances differ in every city so be sure to check first if there are Colorado permits that need to be secured or paperwork complied. Better if you find out there's nothing you need to do early on than to have your project halted midway because you're violating a local law. 

Some building quotes also offer assistance for securing permits, so check with your service provider about this, as well.

2. You ignored safety procedures

Metal building kits come with a manual. Follow the book and never just "wing it," no matter how much of a carpentry expert you think you are. Or you can have it prebuilt at the place where it was purchased so it arrives ready to be set up. 

As a DIYer, you probably do not have enough professional safety training. Take some time to read resources online about job site safety tips. These include clearing the jobsite of any debris that might obstruct workflow or pose a threat, applying fall prevention procedures, and readng the instructions that came with the kit.

3. You did not prepare the soil or pour a foundation

You can't just erect structures anywhere and the ground has to be tested and prepared prior to construction. At the least, make sure that the surface is level and any debris or large rocks are removed. If you are building a large structure, the soil needs to be tested and amended. Much bigger projects require for foundation to be poured.

4. You tampered with the pre-built model

Metal building kits are already pre-measured and cut before they are delivered to your job site. That means all you need to do is to assemble them. Resist the urge to shorten or cut any part, particularly the primary elements, if you notice that the structure is not level. Instead, refer back to the kit's manual and find out if there's a step you might have missed during the preparation process. You can also call the manufacturer to help you identify where the error might have been. Tampering with the parts exposes you to risks for accidents and injuries.

5. You didn't install the fasteners correctly

Going back to the importance of following what's on the manual exactly, the correct setup of fasteners is crucial to the completion of the entire system. It's really a simple process, if you think about it, but a lot of things can go wrong with a mere mis-fastened bolt. Make sure that you use the correct drives and tools to complete the assembly and tath every unit is installed tightly.

When setting up Great Western Buildings of Denver, Colorado, the most basic advice is to follow the erection manual. If you have any questions, call the service provider immediately to clarify. The company will be your best resource to making sure that structures are built flawlessly.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Getting Older? 4 Financial Plans You Need to Have in Place

A part of getting older is planning for your retirement. You need to have financial goals to help you get where you want to go. Here are some financial plans that you need to have in place.

Set a Realistic Budget

A budget will allow you to live within your means. You need to take a hard look at where your money is going. Determine if there are any areas that need some work. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, you need to reevaluate your lifestyle choices. 

Retirement will be difficult if you don’t have a nest egg set aside. Figure out how much money you’ll need to have in order to live comfortably. Have a little extra left over in your budget. Set this money aside for any unexpected expenses.

Work Towards Debt Elimination

Debt can be crippling if you don’t have a steady income. You would have more wiggle room in your budget if you didn’t have to pay off your debt. The best way to eliminate debt is to pay more than the minimum each month. 

Consider how much money you are losing just paying the interest. This money could be better spent somewhere else if you were able to eliminate your debt load. Look at creative ways that you can pay off this debt.

Keep Health Insurance in Mind

Many people have health insurance through their employers. Once you retire, this will be an added strain on your budget. Schedule an appointment to talk to a lawyer about medicaid planning

They can help you through this process so that you can still have health coverage. As you get older, medical treatment becomes more necessary. Not having insurance can leave you saddled with major medical bills. 

This can quickly eat up any money that you have set aside.

Invest in Retirement

There is still time to start saving for the future. Take advantage if your employer offers a 401k. You have other means of starting a retirement account. Traditional IRA and Roth IRAs are also available. 

These will allow you to put money away for your future. As you get closer to retirement age, you can put more money into these accounts. This will offer you a preview of what it will be like to live on more limited means. Then you can adjust your lifestyle as needed.

You need to create a financial plan in order to prepare for retirement. You may need some assistance in developing your plan. Use the tools that are at your disposal.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

How to Know Which Loan is the Best Choice for You

Unfortunately, life doesn't come without the occasional need for extra cash due to an unexpected expense. It may be a leaky pipe that burst while you were at work, high medical bills or an engine that quits on your car. 

Whatever the emergency, you need money now. The good news is that whether your credit is good or poor, there are many ways to acquire the money through different types of loans. 

In some cases, it depends on what you need the money for, for example, college costs for your kids or a remodeling project.

Poor or No Credit

The hardest part of having no established credit or poor credit due to late or missed payments is that your options are limited when it comes to borrowing money. 

It wasn't too long ago that you either had to borrow from your family or pay extremely high-interest rates through payday loans. Luckily, today there are lenders such as that base their loans primarily on whether or not you have a job, a checking account and are a citizen. 

This makes it easier to take out a short-term loan with monthly repayment terms, allowing you to take care of the unexpected expense.

A Personal Loan

If you have good credit a personal loan from a bank gives you a way to acquire money to take care of your unexpected expense. This type of loan allows you to borrow $10,000, $20,000 or even $40,000 to cover a major repair. 

Since they are unsecured, there is no collateral required so you won't have to put your home or your car in jeopardy. You can acquire it from either a bank or a credit union and the repayment terms work much in the same manner as a mortgage wherein the payments are fixed and the loan is not open-ended, meaning there's an end date.

Student Loans

The stress of coming up with the money to send a child off to college can take away from their achievements. Luckily there are several ways to acquire the money including a private lender or a federal loan like the Stafford or Perkins. 

The government loans are more popular because there is no collateral needed to acquire them. These loans also have lower interest rates and a deferment period of up to 6 months after your child graduates college before you need to begin repaying the loan. 

Plus, if your child attends multiple schools before graduating, you can consolidate them into a single loan. Private lenders offer student loans as well. Unfortunately, they base their approval on your credit history. 

In most cases, they also have a higher interest rate and there is no subsidizing so you can owe money on a loan before your child actually graduates college. While they do offer deferments, they are limited and less likely.

A Home Repair

If you own a home and have equity in it and need a major repair like a total replumbing job or are in need of a new roof, applying for a home equity loan can help you get the money you need. 

This type of loan allows you to use the equity you have available based on the value of your home in the current market. Since the bank uses your home as collateral the criteria are less stringent than acquiring a personal, unsecured loan so even if you have a few blemishes on your credit report, the chances are better that you will get an approval. 

In addition, other advantages are that the interest rates mirror that of a mortgage, you can borrow a larger amount and since it's a home equity loan some of the interest is tax deductible. 

Another big advantage is that you can use the money however you want to without the need for disclosing it to the bank and thus needing their approval.

Life can throw you curves from time to time. Luckily, whether you have excellent credit or poor credit there are many ways to acquire the funds you need to make necessary repairs, acquire the funds for college or pay off expensive medical bills.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

4 Ways Moms and Dads Can Save Money on Their Monthly Budget

Budgeting isn’t always simple. It can be especially hard for mothers and fathers who are trying to raise families. Costs for kids can add up rapidly. Parents have to take all sorts of factors into consideration. 

These include meals, recreational activities, entertainment, and school supplies. If you’re a budget-conscious parent who wants to save money each month, take note of these budgeting tips.

Purchase Aftermarket Car Parts

Parents have to take their kids from point A to point B. You may drive your youngster to soccer practice several times a week. You may drive all of your kids to and from school each morning and afternoon. 

That’s the reason car issues are practically inevitable. Parents should always set aside money in their monthly budgets for problems. If your car needs repair service, you can save money by purchasing used car parts instead of OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) parts. These replacement parts are usually just as durable as the originals.

Focus on History

History doesn’t always have to repeat itself. If you feel regret any time you think about your recent money use, give your latest bank statement attention. This can give you insight into where all your hard-earned money went. 

It can also help you steer clear of making the same frustrating errors. You may realize that you went to restaurants too often. You may realize that you had too many weekend shopping excursions. History can teach parents invaluable finance lessons.

Become a Warehouse Club Member

Feeding a growing family can cost a pretty penny. That’s why wise parents should always search for ways to minimize their monthly grocery shopping costs. If you want to save big on meals, snacks and more, then you should think about signing up for a warehouse club membership. 

These require initial membership fees, but they generally end up paying for themselves quickly. Bulk purchases can help moms and dogs save mega money.

Steer Clear of Excess

Parents who want to save money should try to steer clear of excess. Do you have an online video streaming subscription you never use? Cancel it. Cutting down here and there can help you reduce your monthly costs dramatically.

Healthy families are all about clear communication. If you want to save money as a family, make sure everyone is in on the plan. Try to make saving money a fun bonding experience for everyone.

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