Tips On How To Spend Your Windfall Income

As individuals, especially workers we sometimes get windfall incomes in forms of bonuses, profit shares, etc. However, a lot of the time the temptation is to spend the money on acquiring a new car, new clothes, shoes, new phones, among other things. While acquiring these things in themselves is not a bad idea, it is wiser to use windfall incomes for things that will have long term positive impart on our lives especially because we do not have a full grabs of what tomorrow will bring.

For workers just starting off or in mid level careers, it is really important not to squander windfall incomes on non-essentials.

Many years ago during the mid 2000s, when the banking and telecommunication really became big industries, many banks and telecommunication companies paid bonuses and profit shares to their staff on a yearly basis. Most new staff and mid level staff squandered their money on buying cars, renting new apartments in high brow areas and changing their wardrobes almost every 3 months. Nite clubs were packed every Friday night with each person almost trying to out do the other in terms money spent.

Today, the story is different. The global economy is almost comatose. Banks are no longer giving huge bonuses, neither are telecommunication companies doing any better. The oil industry is in shambles. Every industry is operating lean.

Windfall incomes will not come all the time as the economic realities have now shown us. So if you are fortunate to get a bonus or profit share that amounts to something reasonable, here are a few tips on how to spend wisely:

1) Invest in real estate: As much as this sounds like really over flogged, it is a wise counsel. A businessman once said, “the only Estate that is Real is Real Estate”. Real estate is big business. There is a huge demand for rental apartments especially mini flats and 2 bedroom flats. There are several real estate companies offering instalments payment options for those interested in buying land. You can invest your windfall income in buying a half plot or full plot of land. I will advice you buy from a real estate company rather than directly from the community especially if you do not have funds for immediate development.

The simple reason is that the real estate company usually would have sorted out community settlement issues with the land owners and so you can be rest assured that you land is at least secure from land grabbers. Also, by buying from a real estate company, you will benefit from quick capital appreciation of your investment and rapid development of the locations since there will be several people also buying and developing their property in that location. Another advantage of investing in real estate is that after developing the property, you can put it up for rent if you do not wish to reside in that location and use the rental income to pay for your rent in your desired location.

2) Invest in a part-time business: If you already have a business that you can run part- time alongside your full-time job, you should invest your windfall income in that business. You can buy the needed equipments or register for a training programme that will increase your expertise in that business area. If you do not already have business idea, you may want to consider doing some research to see what part-time business to invest in.

3) Invest in education: You can invest your windfall income in further education that will boost your profile and give you a better chance at a higher paying role in your industry or another industry entirely. You an also invest in the education of your loved ones like your spouse, children or siblings (if you have this responsibility thrust on you)

4) Invest in Marriage: Yes! you read me right.

This is for those who believe in marriage. If you have a partner and your really desire to spend the rest of your life with the person, then invest your windfall income towards settling down. You can start making down payments for some critical items on your list. Marriage is an investment in your lifetime happiness.

5) Invest in Charitable Activities: Don’t spend all your windfall income on yourself. Life is about sharing and putting smiles on the faces of others. You can give a portion of your windfall income to a charitable organisation. Depending on your religious leaning, Christians are advised to give a tithe of this to their local churches. However, if you are not a religious person, do well to give to a cause that will help humanity.

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How To Send Money Abroad In An Efficient Manner

Every day, countless people make international money transfers. Is it easy to send money to someone in another country? Well, it depends. If you don’t take enough care, it may cost you much more money, as most people are oblivious to the hidden fees. Let’s find out more about how to make the process safe and cost effective.

For sending money overseas, you will have to bear two types of costs: the currency conversion cost and the cost to transfer the money to your desired country. The service provider can be an FX broker, a bank or a money transfer company. The thing is that they don’t convert one currency to the other on the basis of the inter-bank rate. Instead, they make the exchange at a lower rate making a good deal of profit. Give below are a few tips that may help you go through the process efficiently.

Foreign Exchange Brokers

Acting as intermediaries, foreign exchange brokers deal with a lot of banks and provide the best exchange rates. While their primary role is to convert currencies, they can also help you send money abroad for a reasonable fee.

While this option is cost effective, especially if you want to transfer over $5000, the process can take longer to complete. Choose this option if you don’t have to send your funds abroad urgently.

Commercial Banks

Banks are the most common means of international money transfers all over the world. However, the fact of the matter is that banks are known for charging hidden fees for money transfers, and the fees will continue to go up as the amount of money that needs to be transferred goes up. But the advantage of using a bank to do this job is that banks are considered the safest way of transferring money abroad. So, if you are planning to do the transfer through a bank, make sure you choose a bank that charges a minimum amount for transfers.

Money Transfer Providers

If you want to send less than $5000 to someone in another country, money transfer providers is probably your best option. They are best in terms of cost of transfer. Typically, they offer bank-to-bank transfers. You can also find some providers who allow you to receive cash at cash pick-up branches.

Online Money Transfer

These service providers allow you to send money abroad charging a minimal fee. Usually, they charge just $1 extra for the transfer. Some providers don’t even charge this fee.

These providers are regulated by the financial authorities of the same country they operate in. They use the state-of-the-art financial technology for sending and receiving funds. So, you can count on them with your eyes closed.

With online money transfer, you don’t need to visit a financial office. All you need to make the transfer is a computer and a fast internet connection.

So, before you choose any of the three money transfer services mentioned, do your homework and compare them with each other. You can go with the one offering best services at the lowest cost.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9329459

How to Find Government Grants Money Online to Pay Off Bills

If you have huge bills to pay off and you fall in the low, below low or moderate income bracket then good news for you! There are countless government and non-government grants and financial assistance that can help you pay your pending bills and stand back in life again.

Even nonprofits, states, counties, accredited organizations, foundations, community action agencies and local agencies offer financial support or benefit programs that enable unfortunate families to continue availing services in spite of bill payment dues and help compensate the bills. Have a look at the basic steps or procedures to get a grant to pay off bills.

Steps to Get a Grant for Paying off Bills

Know the process: you must be thoroughly enlightened about the detailed process of seeking grants, where to ask for referrals, look for resources, whom to speak to, where to apply, eligibility criteria, what grants you need etc. A complete know-how is essential at the onset to get going for the other steps.

Make a complete research work: first list down the areas that need assistance or grants such as housing, utility, education, daycare, repair, transportation, food etc. Once done make both online and offline research about the grants that can help pay off your bill dues. Look up at the Grants.gov. site that offers exhaustive information on all the government grants. You can also look at other sites.

Next communicate with local government officials, nonprofits and community action agencies about your situation. Seek for referrals. Reach about grant options in your state by researching online.

Look for government grants or programs: first look for government grants. There are innumerable federal grants that may help in paying off bills. Emergency cash grants, housing, education, home repair, food, unemployment, insurance, medical, babysitting and many other grants are availing. Look for your area of interest, eligibility criteria, paperwork involved or needed and start applying.

Talk to nonprofits: if you can’t qualify for government grants, don’t worry! Ask for assistance or funds from charities, churches, nonprofits, local agencies, organizations or foundations. Such groups provide emergency funds or assistance that can help pay off bills. There are more than 100 nonprofit organizations in US that are committed to render support.

Now apply: once you have decided begin to apply. Download a grant application form and fill all the mandatory fields needed. Provide with all the important paperwork, documents and credentials asked for. Check all details and then apply. Note down the tracking number and keep a track.

If your bills are due and your family is in debts, you can also ask for assistance from debt companies, creditors and legal help from nonprofits. Apply now to pay off the bills and get rid of worries.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9197204

Why Should You Bank Online With Your Credit Union?

The Internet has changed the way everyone lives and communicates. But it’s so much more than keeping in touch with your family and friends. It can also be used to simplify your financial life. It is a welcome change from the monotony of balancing your checkbook and correcting those antiquated handwritten ledger pages. With online banking at your fingertips it gives even the most dyed-in-the-wool paper trail junkie the opportunity to abandon ship and embrace the digital age and utilize online banking.

Banking online isn’t a new phenomenon and likely the majority of us already do it in one way or another. If you haven’t yet made the transition to online banking and are still searching for more information about the benefits, I’ve put together a list of reasons why you should consider using the Internet to manage your finances.

  • Bank at your convenience by managing your accounts on your schedule, 24/7. The only thing you need is your computer, tablet or a smartphone with Internet access.
  • Everyone has experienced his or her financial institution making an error and it’s not always in your favor. Or, I’m sure you have recorded a check incorrectly allowing the payment to fall through the cracks. The beauty of online banking is it allows you to monitor your account balance and pending transactions in realtime. And, since every transaction is recorded, it is possible to go back months to make sure every transaction has been recorded correctly.
  • Have you ever been late with a bill or has a payment gotten lost in the mail? Paying your bills online is simple, fast and very secure. Just check with your credit union and set up online bill pay.
  • It’s no longer necessary to wait for your paycheck to land on your desk. Just arrange for direct deposit online so you have immediate access to your money. It may be exciting to see that check up close and personal but the time you save waiting in line at the bank to make a deposit will make up for it.
  • Do you have people in your life, like kids in college, that need a cash infusion right now? Online money transfers make it easy to send funds wherever they need to go – fast and easy and most of the time free. And, if you have multiple accounts, online transfers give you the convenience of moving funds as needed.
  • Bank-on-the-go with online banking. Make a deposit, transfer funds or even deposit a check while you are waiting in line at the grocery store.
  • Go paperless with eStatements. Save time. Save money. Save a tree! Environmentally conscious and security-minded people are choosing to receive eStatements in place of traditional paper statements that can be accessed within their personal online banking from anywhere, anytime.
  • MoneyDeskTop by MX is designed to put a member’s data on center stage, molding it into a cohesive, intelligible and interactive visualization. MX provides access to a personal financial management software program whereby online banking becomes a “hub” of financial activity. Users aggregate accounts from any financial institution allowing members to track spending, create budgets and manage debt.
  • Do you want to have a check-free life? With online banking it’s easy to pay people and get paid easier faster and cheaper than using checks.
  • Be assured that your personal information is protected with online banking. Credit Unions typically use highly sophisticated encryption devices to ensure their members privacy and safety.
  • Additionally, many credit unions allow their members to apply for accounts, order checks, stop payments, apply for loans and even communicate with them online. Consider all the benefits of having an online relationship with your credit union.

Moving your accounts online definitely won’t repair all your financial woes, and paying your bills by check or online won’t ever be something we look forward to. But, if you want to make your financial life easier and smarter, online banking is definitely the way to go. If you aren’t already using online banking, what are you waiting for?

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9183110

How To Borrow Money Against A Shared Inheritance

An heir may have to wait months and even years in order to get their inheritance distributions. This is because of the length of the legal process involved. So, an heir is allowed, by means of cash advances or loans, to receive funds in a matter of days. It has no effect on the other heirs of the estate. A portion of the estate is assigned by the cash advance company, in exchange for the loan. Here is how you can get an advance on your inheritance.

• You need to first determine whether you have the eligibility for an inheritance cash advance or not. Advances are only typically received by the heirs from probate assets. Probate assets are bank accounts, insurance policies, real estate, company interests and other assets that were only owned by the decedent. Non-probate assets include trust, retirement accounts or any accounts that are jointly held with another person.

• You need to first determine what amount of money you want to lend from your shared inheritance. The usual range of inheritance loans and advances are from $5000 to $250000. Select an amount of loan that is less than the inheritance you expect. The amount of the loan is capped by some lenders at a certain percentage of your total expected inheritance.

• Contact a company that has a specialization in inheritance advances. Money can only be borrowed by the inheritors from their inheritance after the beginning of the probate process by the inheritors. Do not forget to ask the inheritance company that for an inheritance advances what fees will they charge. The fees vary depending on companies. Fees usually depend on the amount of the advance, the complexity of the estate and the amount of time until the estate closes.

• A cash advance has to be arranged by you from the lender. Funds can generally be distributed by the companies from advances and loans within a few days of business of the transaction. If sufficient funds are not present to pay the loan, ask the company about its consequences. The heir usually does not have personal liability for insufficient estate funds because the heir is assigned an interest to the company.

• Return the money back to the inheritance cash advance company as early as possible. When the estate closes, executor automatically pays the money to the inheritance cash advance companies as part of the transaction. However, discounts and rebates are offered by some companies for heirs that pay back the loan early.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9565249

Important Things You Must Know About Fixed Capital Investment

It can be quite daunting to decode the jargon of financing businesses. In most cases, because of the similarity in the objectives of the different financing solutions, many have a tendency to exchange one for the other.

To simplify these very technical terminologies, most especially when you just have ventured into business and you do not have enough knowledge about it, here are some useful information regarding a fixed capital investment, which is one of the relevant business solutions businesses, either big or small, can opt for.

Facts About Fixed Capital Investment

First, they are often used to launch or perform businesses. Over a long period of time or about 20 years, they depreciate on the accounting statements of the company.

Second, though these investments can depreciate over time, they won’t depreciate the same way. Be reminded that there are investments that lose their value faster than the others. The perfect examples of those that devalue fast are communications equipment or devices since there is a rapid turnover of technology for these. Another excellent example is the company vehicles. Within the year of purchase, the value of a brand new company vehicle can depreciate by as much as 40%.

Third, fixed capital investments won’t devalue rapidly. There are actually cases where it can even increase in value. Real estate properties like the company’s office buildings and land are among the examples.

Fourth, these will include the acquisition of tools and equipment required for daily operations, along with the real estate properties where the goods are to be produced and stored. Remember though that the materials used in the production of goods are not included due to the fact that these aren’t retained by the company.

Sixth, the amount of fixed capital will be different from one industry to another. There are enterprises that would require higher fixed capital investment than the others. These will include oil companies, telecommunications providers, and the engineering and manufacturing firms. On the other hand, businesses that will just require limited fixed capital are those that within the service industry. And these will include the law and accounting firms since they require more compact devices, tools and regular office appliances.

Lastly, getting fixed capital often takes a considerable amount of time. Thus, it is crucial to work with a reliable, competent financing institution that can efficiently minimize the risk of financial losses through a wide variety of proven methods.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9532303

5 Questions You Should Ask Your Financial Advisor

Managing your wealth, no matter how big or small, is a cumbersome task. Your financial advisor helps to keep your money safe while making it work for you. Before you start working with someone, ask them these important questions.

What Certifications Do You Have?

You need to know what licenses and certification your financial advisor has. Most of the top consultants are certified public accountants, fund specialists, consultants, or analysts. Some even carry a Juris doctorate and insurance licenses. While everyone has to start somewhere, you want to work with a firm that has extensive experience in the field.

What Safeguards Are in Place to Protect Assets from Fraud?

Your assets need to be protected by a reputable custodian. When you ask about safeguards, you should also ask about any infractions he or she has received in the past both with the firm and as an individual. To provide you with the best service, your financial advisor should be a fiduciary.

Consultants with a strict code of ethics have standards that they share with their clients. However, no matter their standards, they should be in compliance with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, state and regulatory agencies, and the Security’s and Exchange Commission.

What Are Your Fees?

When it comes to fees, your counselor should be 100 percent transparent. He or she needs to explain his or her exact fee structure, so you understand how you are paying. Some are fee-only, meaning they provide a flat rate for services rendered.

Some investment consultants charge a commission fee. That means they make money off each product you purchase to help your investments grow. It is important to know which one you are working with, or if you are with someone who charges a fee in addition to earning commissions.

What Access Do You Have to Earning Reports?

As your financial advisor, he or she should have direct access to the top holdings of where your investments are. He or she needs to be able to tell you immediately what the earnings report is anytime you call.

At the very least, he or she should be able to educate you on your holdings before any investment of assets. By educating you on available options and what assets are invested, you can better understand what the consultant suggests.

How Often Do You Communicate

When it comes to letting you know how your money is doing, the counselor should be open to communication. He or she should send out weekly announcements about the market. Also, you must be informed of trade notifications immediately and receive an explanation on every buy and sell option. Most firms also send out information about their monthly investment outlook as well as a quarterly outlook. Brokers also offer to keep their customers informed with educational information and fact sheets.

Ask the tough questions of a financial advisor before asking him or her to manage your funds. It helps you to weed out the inexperienced and shady consultants before losing any money.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9379343

Electronic Trading Solutions to Improve Business Opportunities

Digitization of trade finances is touted to provide significant benefits for trading partners and corporate banks. The other major benefits of digitizing trade finances are the reduced costs and the risks of international trade. The connected networks and connections have improved visibility and transparency that makes the entire process smooth and easy. The ability to make electronic trading solutions digital requires time because of the increased stiff global competition.

Corporate organizations have their own reasons to go digital when it comes to the trading solutions. The reasons to go digital are many and the biggest reason being reduced costs with a steady increase in efficiency. Going digital also improves the payment processes at a quicker pace which in turn enhances transactions. Corporate companies collaborating together for the common cause of work also shows an improvement in monetary transactions. When companies adopt the electronic trading solutions, the increase in visibility while tracking and auditing transactions reduces all sorts of risks associated with fraud and non-compliance. Digital trading solutions are considered to be effective since it increases opportunities for quick and easy access to finances.

If you had thought that corporate was the only industry that benefited from this, you were wrong because banks and financial institutions experience efficiency because of this digital solution. We all know that there is an increase in efficiency and reduction in fraud activities because of electronic trading solutions. However, the exposure and visibility of the financial institutions also increase because the financial supply chain provides value added services for client benefit.

In order to enjoy the benefits that electronic trading solutions provide, both the financial institutions and the corporate organizations need to come together to establish potential changes. These changes are sure to add value and make the flow of work smooth and easy. Thankfully, these changes have gradually begun to outweigh the challenges organizations were experiencing.

Corporate Digitization

The last decade has seen a significant change in the international trade industry because of the competitive pressure from trading partners. It is time for banks and corporate enterprises to respond quickly to the new opportunities. The commercial decisions also need to be quick on the basis of the financial agreements and the payment types. These trends have expanded the market for alternative funding. Fluctuating prices have forced organizers to explore newer ways of optimizing transaction costs in all aspects of their trade cycle.

Operational Efficiency through Auditable Process

There has been an increased focus on maintaining documentation processes to keep a constant check on the regular flow of work. Documentation is an established process which is also an old school approach to work. The growing competition has made the market conditions pretty tough and it is important for banks and financial institutions to become more agile and responsive while handling client requirements. This transition by banks is easily possible with the help of the electronic trading solution. The electronic documentation process minimizes human errors and is extremely accurate.

Transformation in Global Trade

Electronic trading solutions lead to easy handling of trade and finances which further help companies to run an end-to-end process successfully. Digitization helps in keeping the work related processes on the right track because relevant documents are in place. This entire process acts like an instant authorization which further helps in keeping the pace of work fast and effective. It is important to stay ahead in business and that is possible only when you adopt new technological trends that help in easing the global trade transaction processes. These processes play a critical role in developing and improving corporate relationships through efficient work management systems.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9318587

Tips for ATM Safety

ATMs and debit cards offer quick access to your money when you’re on the go. Most of us have come to rely on the convenience they provide, but it’s important to use caution to keep ourselves and our finances safe. To protect your identity and ensure your personal safety, it makes sense to exercise caution when using an ATM. The tips below are meant to make you aware that although rare, ATM crime can happen.

Follow these tips to help keep you and your money safe!

    • Protect your ATM card as if it were cash. Report lost or stolen cards immediately.
    • Safeguard your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Don’t give your number to anyone; don’t write your PIN on your card, avoid using numbers that are easily identified (birth date, etc.).
    • Try to use ATMs with which you are familiar. Choose well-lit, well-placed ATMs where you feel comfortable. If you need to use an ATM late at night, ask a friend to accompany you.
    • Before approaching the ATM, scan the surrounding area. Avoid the ATM altogether if it is too dark to see, isolated or looks unsafe. If there are bystanders loitering in the area, go to another machine or come back later.
    • Be prepared to conduct your business as soon as you reach the machine. Have your ATM card ready in your hand. Do not dig through a purse, bag or wallet in front of an ATM or while you are in line. Secure your money immediately after the transaction. Count your money later, not at the ATM.
    • Use your body to shield the screen and keypad before entering your PIN. Make sure other individuals in line stay a reasonable distance from you while you’re performing your transaction.
    • Do not allow anyone to distract you while you are at the ATM. Be cautious if strangers approach you or try talking to you – even if your card is stuck or you’re having trouble with your transaction. If someone takes interest in your transaction, leave the area and report the suspicious behavior to the police.
    • Never leave your receipt in the ATM. Discarded ATM receipts are a primary source of identity theft and account fraud. Shred receipts before discarding them.
    • If you are using the ATM at night make sure there is nothing compromising your personal safety like overgrown bushes or poor lighting.
    • Be wary of an ATM scam called “skimming, where thieves attach electronic devices to the ATM that are designed to capture your card information and PIN. If an ATM card reader appears unusual compared to other ATMs, use another ATM.

Remember, if your ATM card is lost or stolen; contact your credit union immediately. They will take the proper steps to ensure your finances are safe and assist you in getting a new card.

You can never be too careful, too prepared or too aware. Share this information with family and friends.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9299748

Investment Banking – 2 Main Types to Know About

Investment banks help private as well as public companies and organizations to gathers funds in both debt and equity capital markets. These banks were originally founded in order to raise capital and provide guidance on corporate financial strategies, such as acquisitions and mergers. Investment banks assume many different roles such as handing safety issues, providing institutional and public investors with brokerage services, providing corporate clients with financial advice, offering guidance on acquisition deals and mergers and more. These days, you can also find banks to have ventured into bridge financing, foreign currency exchange and private banking. Know about the two main types of investment banking companies India.

Basic bank for invest

This kind of bank tends to issue bonds and stocks to customers for a predetermined sum. Then the bank invests this sum which has been used by the client for buying bonds and stocks. Such types of investments vary across different banks. In the nations where this type of investment is permitted, investment banks come with networks of lending and financial organizations that they can derive profit from. Other banks also make investments in construction and property development. Customers with bonds and stocks would tend get payments from the amount of profit that is made on the sum that they have invested for a particular time period.

Both the investment bank and the client derive profits from the sum initially invested by the client. As these types of banks are completely familiar with the trade methods, they are often consulted about corporate investment activities like acquisitions and mergers by both big and small corporations and business houses.

Merchant bank for investing

This is the other kind of investment bank. Such kinds of banks participate in trade financing and provide business ventures with capita in the form of shares and not loans. These banks have their businesses based on how secure shares are. Such types of institutions only fund those business ventures which have only started in the world of business. Generally, startup merchant companies do not get any financing. Merchant banks can be regarded only as investment banks which are ready to invest some amount of the capital of the organization. The money is put in the form of an equity investment. The company acts like research and advisory firms in India into the transaction and offers advice. In case you want trade financing, you will like to get in touch with a merchant bank rather than an investment bank.

The primary function of these banks consists of offering financial services and advice to individuals as well as corporate houses. Such kinds of banks function like a type of intermediary between the consumers of the securities and the issuers of the capital. Various companies issue these kinds of securities in order to gather funds in the stock markets. Merchant banks offer better monetary solutions and options to the customers, and can assist customers to gather money via low-cost resources. These banks are able to revive the economic health of sick firms.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9325409