Showing posts with label Expense. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Expense. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Money Forecast: Six Budget Steps That Will Be Useful Year-Round

In these tough economic times, it is more important than ever to make sure that you have budgeting skills. The ability to keep a good budget is the first step on the road to financial health. Here are six tips you can use year-round to keep your budget on track.

Sit Down and Do the Math

The only way to keep a budget is to create a budget. To do this, you need to add up all of your income. Next, add up all of your monthly expenses. Subtract the expenses from your income. The remainder is the money that you can use for optional things like entertainment. Although this step seems easy, if you are not in the habit of doing this it is easy to overspend in small areas that don't seem to make an impact. However, if we are looking at the overall year, small purchases can begin to grow overtime.
Know Your Expenses

Many people do not really know their expenses, which throws the math off on their budgets. If this sounds like you, then you should carry around something to add up your money whenever you spend it. If you do this for one month, then you will know exactly how much you spent that month. Knowing this will make it much easier to set your budget.

Use Computer Budgeting Software

Don’t make it hard on yourself to keep a budget. If you use a budgeting software program like Quicken, it will save you’re a lot of headaches and make it a breeze to keep track of your budget. This will help you get a visual of where your money is going and how you can cut back.

Stop Eating Out

One of the biggest spending leaks people have in their budgets is eating out way too much. If you are guilty of this, try making your lunch at home. Skipping paying for lunch from a restaurant everyday will save you a ton of money.

Protect What You Have

Unexpected expenses can ruin your carefully planned budget. Make sure to avoid this disaster by protecting yourself with insurance. This will prevent you from destroying your budget when the unexpected occurs. Also, be sure to check out home security system to protect your valuables at home. The security will then provide a discount from the insurance companies because you are more likely to be covered during a natural occurrence or a theft, making sure you are covered from every angle.

Treat Yourself

Part of that budget you drew up should include savings, and a portion of that savings should go to buy you something big you want. It could be a car, trip or any other big thing you crave. You need this type of positive reinforcement to keep you on track with your budgeting.

If you follow these six tips, you will find it easy to keep your budget all year. Take it step-by-step and always look for ways to improve your budgeting. The rewards of fiscal responsibility are wonderful.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

How to Plan Best Final Expense Insurance?

No one wants to give trouble to loved ones at the end of the life’s journey. You can plan now for funeral cost with final expense insurance so that all your possible expenses are met. Thus, your family members will be able to celebrate your life in a most dignified manner. In order to make the most of the final expense insurance, you should go through the available insurance options. It is also required to get an estimate of probable costs that will be involved at the end of life’s journey. The insurance plan should not exceed your needs in which case, you will pay higher premiums. At the same, the final insurance plan should not under cover your expenses in which case, it will extend financial burden to your family members. 

Assess your requirements 

You can plan now for funeral cost with final expense insurance by getting a decent estimate on your needs. There will be need to spend money on various heads which include funeral service, casket, burial and cemetery plot. Other expenses include the arrangement of flowers, vehicles, procession, viewing and headstone. In order to reach a decent estimate, you should consult the elders present in your community. If you discuss with local community leaders and organizers, it is possible to get a realistic figure. 

Final expense insurance policies 

There are various kinds of insurance policies. It is true that a traditional senior life insurance policy can cover burial and funeral expenses. However, you will get these benefits at higher face value. The premium that you will pay for a final expense insurance policy is very less. Thus, you will get maximum benefit through final insurance policy. You can plan now for funeral cost with final expense insurance by choosing various important riders as per your needs. 

If you go through the final expense insurance policies that are offered by various insurance companies, you will be able to select the best policy for your needs. By going for quotation from more than two service providers, it is possible to select the best final insurance plan. If you go through reviews offered by experts and customers, you can plan now for funeral cost with final expense insurance. 

Plan selection 

Final expense insurance plan will work on the same lines as that of life insurance. It can be taken on term basis or whole life basis. If you go for term insurance, it will provide cover to a certain age (generally up to 80 years). When you go for a whole life policy, it will cover your entire life. The age limit that is set for obtaining final expense insurance will be dependent on the insurance company that you have chosen. Most of the insurance providers set the age limit of 75 years. 

You should go through the eligibility criteria. The past and present health condition should be shared with the insurance provider. You can plan now for funeral cost with final expense insurance so that your family members are relieved from financial burden and they will organize the proceedings as per your desires.

Does Your Budget Need a Makeover?

It’s not uncommon to reset your budget when you reach a major milestone, such as getting married, retiring or buying a house. When you do that, however, you manage your finances in fits and starts, and you miss numerous chances to save and spend more wisely.

When life goes along smoothly with no major interruptions, you might not think about money. But all the while, costs go up, fees are incurred, and new cost-saving opportunities come along. If you haven’t set a budget in a while, ask yourself these questions to see if it’s time to reorganize your financial priorities.

Has my Month-End Balance Changed?

When you wrote your budget 10 years ago, you may have assumed you’d end each month with a set amount of money left over. Take a look at your bank statements from the past year and see if that amount has gone up or down since your last budget.

Suppose you used to have $500 at the end of each month. If you’re now keeping less, go through your expenses and look for things to reduce or eliminate. If you’re keeping more, have some fun with it; better yet, put that extra money into your retirement account.

Am I Still Getting my Money’s Worth?

If you’re spending more time fixing your 1996 Mustang than you are driving it, you’re not getting much return on your investment anymore. Similarly, your gym membership might seem silly since you bought a treadmill last year. Let your budget reflect these changing priorities.

Just as revenues and expenses change, so does the need for certain things. What seemed essential in your 20s and 30s might not matter in your 40s and 50s. Analyze your spending habits over the last few years and decide whether certain expenses are still important in your life.

Am I Properly Preparing for the Future?

Some situations come out of nowhere, like an illness or a termination. Other things are inevitable, like retirement or the passing of a loved one. These situations don’t have to be imminent for you to start preparing for them, but as the day approaches, give them more attention.

As you get older, you may want to cut back your work hours, thus cutting your pay. Or you may start facing various health problems, resulting in higher expenses. Factor those possibilities into your current budget; the more you prepare, the easier these things will be to manage.

Do I have a backup plan?

Even after you’ve considered every contingency, something unexpected could happen to put your finances at risk. Instead of being blindsided by these sudden changes, protect yourself by having an alternate budget in place.

This Plan B should reflect what would change if things went awry. For instance, what would you do if you or your spouse became ill and needed long-term care? Some people might cut expenses to pay for home care, while others might rent out or sell a second home.

Nothing stays the same, and it’s important to make sure your finances follow suit. Give your budget a regular review to keep your finances on a smooth track.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Preparing for the Future – Costs to Be Aware of

Life is full of surprises, many of which turn out to be financial. Even if you are an excellent budgeter there will probably be something that comes completely out of the blue that will knock you for six. 

Many experts suggest having at least nine months’ worth of income saved up for these unexpected and unplanned for costs. This is rather a huge amount and it’s not always possible. But you can prepare by being aware of some of the most common expenses that are rarely planned for.

Take a look over these expenses and try to find out a way of putting a little bit of money aside each month just in case they affect you in the future.

Presents and Gifts

It is quite astonishing how much money you can spend on buying gifts for others. You may have already planned ahead for special events such as Christmas and even set aside money for the birthdays of family and friends but what about when a friend has a baby, a christening, marriages, your children’s’ friends birthdays, retirements, new homes, or engagements. Life is full of times when gifts are given that fall outside of the usual routine.

Legal Bills

You may need to find the money to cover your legal bills. These can arise in all sorts of situations such as selling a home, illegal activity, suing someone and you should also consider the costs of making alterations to your will and testament, rental agreement or the Cost of gaining power of attorney. Legal bills can cost a small fortune so plan ahead and put money aside now.

Health Related Costs

Medical costs are another expense that can suddenly knock you for six. You may have to cover the cost of prescriptions, have surgery or diagnostic treatments or pay for long term care. Insurance is another expense as well as routine check-ups. It all costs money if you are unable to get the treatment for free or if you would prefer to use a private health care option.

Transportation Costs

Cars eat money when they are healthy and on the road let alone when they need attention. The work required to upkeep a care is constant. You will have service charges but also have to cover the costs of accidents, general wear and tear such as replacing brake pads and tires. If you have a car you will definitely benefit on building up some savings to dip into in the future. 

Losing a Job or Clients

There are not many careers out there that now guarantee that you will be in work for years to come. Finding yourself unemployed can be nerve-wracking. You should aim to have at least three months’ worth of wages saved up just in case the firm you work for closes down or needs to make some cut backs. If you are a freelancer you will also need to prepare for times when work slows down between contracts.

By saving you can at least work to soften the blow of unexpected expenses. Start saving now for a more comfortable future.

The author is a freelance copywriter with an interest in personal and business finance. His work has been frequently published on websites and blogs as well as in magazines over the past four years. Besides writing about finance he also has an interest in writing articles about small business start-ups.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Practical Tips for Cutting Expenses

When looking for ways to cut expenses, there are some rules you should follow. The first rule of thumb is to limit the number of credit cards you have. Spending now to pay later should only be for emergencies. Secondly, pay off a bill as soon as possible to prevent accruing interests that may leave you in debt. Do not go to buy food when you are hungry as you will spend more at the store than you intended to. Do not take your children on a shopping expedition when you are on a limited budget, their wondering eyes and hands always means more money spent than your budget can handle. Some other methods that can help you cut down on expenses include;

Pack Your Lunch

You can pack a healthy lunch to take to work. This saves on the amount you spend; since you made it at home you are sure of the ingredients included. Most offices have a microwave oven for their staff to enjoy a hot meal. This is not only good for your budget, but also excellent for your health. 

Learn to accessorize

You do not need a large variety of clothing to look good when you go out in public. A gorgeous belt can make your simple black dress look elegant when you attend an after office party. Invest in a good pair of black high heeled shoes. A man will require at least one black jacket in a good cut. A good quality pair of black shoes is a must. A white shirt in good condition is necessary for either gender. Launder your clothes as indicated on the label to ensure they remain in good condition for longer. 

Bargain hunting

The online platform allows you to compare prices easily. The same item you see in your local store can be bought at a discounted rate online if you do your research. Ask for discounts when you make your purchases locally. Most people pay the asking price without asking if a discount is offered. Bring your coupons when you go to shop and save a few coins.

Switch off lights when you leave a room

Most people forget to switch off lights in the kitchen when they sit in the dining room to have a meal. Always switch off lights when you leave a room. Unplug your electronics from the power supply when they are not in use. Do not forget to switch off the water heater power supply when you leave home.

Full loads

You save power when you wash dishes by waiting until you can put in a full load. The same applies to the washing machine in your home.

Can you trade in?

Some localities can allow you to trade what you have for something you need. Find out if it is possible in your area. You may get what you need without spending much to obtain it. Sell what you do not need in your home to make extra spending money. The online platform has simplified the way we live. It is free to place an ad to sell an item on most websites. You can take a photo of what you want to sell and attach it on your social media page as you chat with your friends. It will be bought in due time.

By cutting your expenses, you will find you are able to live more comfortably. In the long run, it will pay off with less stress and more money in your savings.

Friday, March 29, 2013

What Is Needed For Retirement

Retirement (Photo credit: Tax Credits)
People should start to think about their retirement needs even at an early age. Before retirement people should be financially prepared. Some people think that it is not necessary to start planning for retirement at an early age. But will find out that retirement will sneak up on you and you will find yourself completely unprepared. So the question of how do I prepare for retirement and how much money will I need to retire remains unanswered. 

How Much Money Will I Need

Many soon to be retirees are more concerned about how much money they will be needed come retirement age. There is no set amount of money that a person should have in order to retire. What you will need depends on what your plans are once retirement comes about. You will need to decide if you want to make any large purchases such as an RV, If you plan on becoming the world traveler and making many trips, or if you just plan on staying in your home and enjoying the life of rest and relaxation.

Not only will you need to figure out what your plans on but also what your day-to-day living expenses will be. Even though you will be retired you will still have your continuing needs. 

Ongoing Debts And Expenses

Another issue to consider when you are trying to figure out how much to set aside for retirement is how much debt you have. You will need to take into consideration how much if anything you still owe on your automobile loans, credit cards or even your mortgage loan. By calculating how much your monthly payments are and how much longer you will have on these payments you can be sure of an approximate amount of money that you will need every month.

Do not forget that you will also have the other monthly expenses to add into your monthly budget as well. These expenses should include any of your ongoing bills such as insurance, utility bills, grocery bills, fuel, as well as any other expense you may have during the month. By including all of these expenses in your monthly budget you should be able to figure out how much money you will need to live on. 

Healthcare Expenses

Unfortunately when a person is getting close to retirement age the cost of their healthcare will be increasing. After all the older you get the more healthcare needs you will have. It is important to have your healthcare needs taken care of for your future. You would not want to have a major healthcare issue that would take up your entire retirement savings. This could cause you to face some serious money problems later down the road.

Finding your retirement could be a very stressful time in your life that can involve many different decisions that need to be met. It is important to be sure you consider all of your expenses as well as any other expenses that you may think can arise. Once you decide on how much it will take to fund your retirement you can figure out the best time for you to retirement and live the life of rest and relaxation.

Author Bio
This article is contributed by Janice Thompson. She is a financial journalist. She says success comes to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. She gives excellent financial tips on debt, credit card, personal loans for bad credit, insurance and advice on her blog.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Top 10 Tax Tips For The Self-Employed

(Photo credit: patrick h. lauke)
Self-employment is a tough road to go down, but luckily there are a few things that you can benefit from. Self-employed individuals will have a different tax status to those who are employed by someone else. As a result, you are going to want to take a look at your taxes and see what you can do when it comes to making the most out of your situation.

Determine Your Net Income

Your net income is the income that you receive after all of your business expenses have been deducted. This can be done after a year of working to determine what you are most likely to earn.

Keep a Record

Make sure to keep a record of everything that you earn. Knowing how much you earned every week or month will allow you to figure out the proper rate at which you will be taxed.

Calculate Estimated Tax

Try to determine what percentage of your tax you are going to have to pay. Deduct this from your net income and you will have an idea of how much you owe.

Expenses for the Home Office

If you have a home office, then you will be able to make it a tax-deductible business expense. Remember that you are not able to deduct more than your net business profit.

Get an Accountant

Having someone to take a look over all of your expenses is a great thing. On top of this, you can also deduct what you pay from your accountant as a business expense.

Remember to Report

Making over $600 from a client means that you are going to have to report it to the IRS. When this happens, your client is going to give you a 1099-Misc.

Set Up a Separate Account

Get a separate account where you will be able to put all of your estimated taxes in. This is much easier than scraping for the money at the end of the year.

Keep a Track of All Business Expenses

Business expenses can include anything that you use in order to carry out your business. These can include your computer, your desk, your phone and your Internet connection. Make sure to keep a track of everything in this regard.

Remember to Pay Quarterly

You do not pay your taxes on a yearly basis. Instead, you pay every quarter of the year. This means you have to make sure that you have everything organized.

Keep Everything Together

Get files for all of the necessary expenses and tax records that you are going to need. Organizing all of this properly will ensure that you know what is going on when the time comes to pay.

Being self-employed can be difficult for many reasons, but it is always a good idea to keep on top of your tax returns. There are a number of things that you can also do for tax relief, so make sure to take advantage of them if you can. This way, you can ensure that you make the most out of being self-employed.

If you are interested in more tax relief tips, the author recommends you visit

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Learning To Make Better Financial Decisions

Whether you value material things or you simply like knowing your bills are paid, money matters. Dedicate the necessary time to find out as much as you can about finance, so that you can remain in control and avoid stress. The information in this article is designed to help you understand and effectively manage your personal finances.

Review your income as well as how much you spend so that you can then formulate a budget. Figuring out how much money you make in a month is where you should start. Include second jobs and other sources of money in your income calculations. The foundation of any budget is ensuring that you spend less than you earn every month.

Home Expenses & Loans

Now, you should write down all of your expenses. You will want to include everything you pay on a quarterly and annual basis too. This would be things like insurance, vehicle maintenance, or regular household upkeep. Included in your list should be incidentals such as entertainment, food, and even the cost of hiring a babysitter. Try to make a very through list to ensure you are aware of absolutely everything you spend.

You should be able to establish a budget now so that you know exactly how much income you can generate. Look over all your regular purchases and decide what is and isn't necessary. For instance, instead of spending money by eating out, you could easily cook something at home, and save money. Examine your spending patterns in search of other ideas to trim costs and keep your money in your pocket.

There are things around the house that you can repair or upgrade that will help reduce your utility bills. A brand-new, energy-efficient dishwasher or washing machine can save you a load of money on your water and electric bills each month. An excellent replacement for a tank heater is a water heater that is either on-demand or in-line. This will decrease your water bill. In addition, you should look for leaky pipes, because they could be causing your water bills to be higher than they should be.

Think about buying energy efficient appliances to take the place of your current models. It will save you a lot of money if you use appliances that use up less energy. Also remember to unplug any appliances that have a constant light going whenever you are not using it. These little lights can really use electrical power.

A good percentage of the heat lost in your home is through the walls and ceiling. Avoid high utility bills by making sure these areas of your home are well insulated. Spending a little money now will save you lots of cash down the road.

Follow these tips to establish a good budget. This will help you save money. Reduce your utility bills with new Energy Star qualified appliances. You will have better control of your finances by doing this.

For more information about home or car loans , please visit:

Friday, February 1, 2013

Plan Ahead To Enjoy Your Retirement

Many of us hope to enjoy our retirement years sleeping in as late as we’d like or filling our days with the passions and hobbies that were put to the side during our working days. Traveling, visiting grandchildren, and taking up new interests are all beckoning as retirement draws nearer. 

However, without some careful planning, living on a fixed income and a new form of healthcare insurance can pose a struggle that will dampen those dreams of retirement. Unfortunately, the majority of us are somewhat behind in our retirement planning and haven’t made a plan to help us transition successfully to retirement. Wherever you are on the path to retirement, the time to make a plan is now. 

Plan Each Step Before You Take It

Simple advice, right? Just as in a chess game, each move you make in preparing for retirement will have an effect on the next move. You will want to consider factors such as when to retire, the quality of life you hope to enjoy, the dreams you want to live out, and the situations that you need to prepare for. Each of these decisions will be easier to make when you have time to study the consequences and contributing factors.

1- When is the right time to retire? Your retirement age will be influenced by the legal age of retirement in order to receive Social Security and Medicare. It may also be affected by the number of years you have put into your current job or the level of tenure which you have attained. Retirement budgets are usually calculated based on your age, the amount of savings and other financial resources you’ve set aside, and the retirement income you have earned from your qualifying jobs. Utilize an online retirement calculator or consult with a professional retirement planner so that you can retire at the most beneficial age.

2- Work out a retirement budget. List any of the debts that you currently have, your costs of living, and any other necessary and desired expenses. Use this information to create a budget. Keep in mind any new hobbies or activities that you are hoping to engage in. If you are hoping to begin traveling, then you will need to calculate those costs ahead of time if you hope to be able to afford any trips.

3- Plan ways to reduce unnecessary costs. While most of us hope to enjoy the same manner of living that we had while working, this is far from guaranteed. Planning ahead is the first step in protecting your income. Learning how to reduce living expenses is the second step. When you reduce your costs now and set aside the extra money, you will be better prepared to handle the emergencies and other unexpected expenses that will invariably occur.

4- Learn to spend wisely. Before retirement, many of us simply live from paycheck to paycheck and spend only what is left after paying bills. Living on a retirement income may present a new problem, especially if a substantial part of your income will come from savings that you can access readily. You may wish to re-take financial classes that you once took as a new homeowner or when you first began investing. You should probably consider enrolling in a course that is specifically taught to educate men and women approaching retirement. With this information, you will be better prepared to make the decisions that affect you personally.

5- During retirement, it will be more important than ever to know how to save your money. Don’t spend as if you don’t have another twenty years ahead of you. People are living longer than ever before and you may need to plan for several decades of retirement. You may feel tempted to spend money up front thinking that your expenses will remain stable. However, many aging adults find that the costs of living for seniors rise suddenly due to increased medical bills and other expenses related to getting older. 

A Successful Retirement Plan

After working for most of your life, you hope to enjoy a stable and peaceful retirement. If you want to avoid depending on your children or making other sacrifices of independence, then plan ahead and carefully consider each step before you take it. With a well-thought out budget and the determination to stick to it, you will have the monthly resources to meet your bills and financial obligations. By developing habits of frugal spending and generous saving, you can feel more comfortable pondering the future years approaching.


Lauren Hill is a freelance writer, wife and mother of 2 really awesome kids. She enjoys writing on topics affecting our everyday lives. When she finds free time, you can find her in the garden, driving her kids to activities or blogging at

Friday, May 11, 2012

Save Money With A Yearly Business Cost Evaluation

expenses_28sept2009_0522(Photo credit: patrick h. lauke)
For a business to survive and be profitable it must keep costs and overhead down. There is something that occurs in all businesses called expense creep. It is the slow and progressive increase of a companies business expenses. It has as many forms as there are expenses in a business. Taking a yearly look at business expenses to see if they are necessary or if you are over paying for services is a necessary task to keep more money in your pocket.

Office Supplies.
Today we have many sources to purchase office supplies. It can be on the phone, a salesman coming to your business, the Internet, or your local Office Depot. Are you doing all you can to shop around for the best deal. 

Phone Service.
Your phone and Internet service are major costs to your company. Even if you are a small company, savings can really add up by reducing expenses. Check your phone and Internet bill, line by line, to see if any unnecessary services can be canceled. Phone companies offer special business class packages like 0845 phone numbers to help you save money.

401(K) Expenses.
It's commendable that you offer your team a 401(k) retirement plan. But you should be careful that you do not over pay for the administrative costs. They can unusually be high, which may make the plan to expensive to continue. Why not shop around and check what other companies are charging for running your plan. 

Insurance Costs.
This a major cost to any business. A business has to deal with many kinds of insurance. Your business has many types of assets to insure. There is also liability insurance for your products and services. It pays for you to do a yearly audit of your insurance to see if costs can be cut. Insurance is one of the easiest expenses to relocate to a cheaper provider. Insurance companies provide package deals and new customer discounts. Take advantage and shop around.

And that's not all. Here are 5 more ways to save money in your business.

  • Postage and shipping in bulk and contract discounts.
  • Upgrade old and high maintenance computer networking gear.
  • Set up systems to avoid paying late fees on bills.
  • Be sure your purchasing office always buys in bulk with the greatest discounts.
  • Evaluate your in house services and outsource your business needs to keep expenses down.

You can probably add many more ways to save money in your business. We are so busy as business people trying to bring money in that we neglect keeping an eye on the ways we can reduce costs and save money.

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