Get Rid of Your Holiday Financial Hangover for Good

 

The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and cheer. But for some people, they can turn into a financial nightmare.

Debt is a very real effect of the holiday season Almost 30 percent of people carry holiday debt with them for the entire year. For many, this is an endless cycle of paying too much, then trying to play catch up until the next season. It’s time to break free of this and get rid of your holiday financial hangover for good.

Create a Firm Budget

You’re going to have trouble over the holidays if you don’t create a budget for yourself. The holiday season is a time for giving. But if you go too far overboard, you’re only going to be giving yourself a headache. People who need to take on debt over the holidays on average acquire over $1,000 of it!

You need to put together a budget before you start spending any money. Include everything—from gifts to your gas costs. Keeping tabs on how much you’re spending over the holidays will inspire you to limit yourself.

Use Cash for Most Things

It’s typically easier to use a credit card or cashless app when you’re buying something in the store. This is especially true if you’re already juggling multiple bags and need to be watching children as well. But it’s easy to lose track of your spending when you use electronic payments. Sticking to cash will force you to adhere to your budget, as you’ll know exactly when you’ve reached your spending limit.

Don’t Buy for Adults

Talk to some of the other adults who you’ll be spending time with over the holidays. It’s likely that they’ll be perfectly okay with skipping the whole gift-giving process. This will save everyone a lot of money and time. If they’re anything like you, they’ll also want to avoid the financial hangover that comes after the holidays.

Negotiate Your Debt

People who have substantial issues with debt might want to consider working with an outside organization. Debt negotiation is one of the best ways to get your finances back on track after spending too much. Freedom Debt Relief is one of the top players in the debt relief. Think of it like a detox for your finances. Check out some Freedom Debt Relief reviews on Consumer Affairs to see how they’ve helped other people get their debt under control.

Find Alternatives to Gift Giving

While it’s nice to get a well-intentioned gift from the ones you love, it’s usually more rewarding to spend your time in less material ways. Consider how your friends and family might be able to do things other than spending money on each other. This might mean baking cookies together, going out to see holiday lights, or creating a new tradition altogether.

Don’t Dine Out While Shopping

It’s much more expensive to dine out than it is to prepare your meals at home. This is especially true at the mall—where food prices are inflated even more than usual. You’ll be tempted to buy coffee or food while you’re out shopping. But resisting this urge will make you feel a lot better after the holidays.

Deals Aren’t Always Good

Many people see the word “deal” and immediately feel compelled to buy something. This is exactly what retailers want from you. They’re creating deals because they know it’ll get consumers to spend more money. Sometimes deals can work in your favor; but don’t let them get the best of you. You should never buy something simply because it’s on sale. Only make purchases that you would go through with regardless of whether it’s currently marked down.

Sell Things You Don’t Need

Many folks associate the holidays with acquiring more things. But you might actually be better off getting rid of them. Selling items you don’t use or need any more is the perfect way to lessen your holiday financial hangover. Not only will this put you in a better place with money, you’ll have more room for things that you actually want in your life.

A lot of people get financially overwhelmed by the holidays. People tend to spend too much money—especially on gifts for loved ones. Use some of these ideas to get rid of your financial holiday hangover forever.

Inside Your Investments – Placing Your Finances as a Homeowner

We’ve all heard the term ‘dead money’. If you have equity in your home and are not utilizing it to seed and grow your investment portfolio, then dead money is exactly what you have. A common mentality among the rich is to continually be investing capital to perpetuate financial growth to ensure a comfortable future.

There are numerous investment strategies which are touted as being the safest and/or most profitable vehicles to grow wealth including the two most common – property and shares.

Shares vs Property

Property

In the eastern states of Australia, affordable rental properties are always in demand, and by securing expert property management in Melbourne or Sydney, where your investment is well managed and cost-effective, you can be building a solid investment portfolio. With property prices stalling and negative gearing under possible threat for future home purchases, the time to buy is now!

The way it works for many investors with substantial property portfolios, is to purchase a single property and either add value through renovations or wait until the property increases in value over time. Once there is enough equity in the property, use that as collateral to purchase a second property and then a third and so on – their own personal monopoly game.

One word of warning I would give is to careful consider investing in inner-city apartments in multi storey tower blocks. Instead look for house and land near infrastructure and amenities – see below.

Shares

Some investment gurus, often with a vested interest in selling you a particular product or stock, may advise you to invest your money in shares. They often use the logic that you can’t sell off a small piece of land if you need some fast cash but you can quickly cash in shares. What they don’t happen to spend much time focusing on, is that if the market drops or crashes, your money can literally vanish into thin air.

Tax is another thing which can take a bite out of share profits. Unless you have swathes of cash to burn, shares are best left to moderate investments.

The Key to Property Investing

The most crucial part of the process is to purchase properties whose rental income covers or almost covers the mortgage repayments and secondly, those which have a high tenancy rate to ensure steady income. This is where property managers are key factors in sourcing, securing and servicing the needs of outstanding tenants – with fees ranging around four percent of the rental yield, it is a small price to pay for the service provided which includes:

  • Marketing and advertising
  • Attending inspections
  • Organising maintenance and repairs
  • Receiving and monitoring rental income
  • Organising mandatory fire equipment checks and other legal requirements
  • Conducting regular property inspections

So what should you be looking for in a rental property? Easy, you should be looking for the things a tenant would prioritise.

Solid ground

People will always need homes to rent. The trick is for an investor s to identify a desirable property by thoroughly researching the rental market. Look for:

Affordability

Crunch you numbers. It seems simple to buy a cheap home but many investors fall into the trap of paying more for a property than the rent can cover the repayments. Remember, you must plan for every contingency and the property may not be producing a rental yield for weeks at a time.

Infrastructure

A property which is located walking distance to schools, universities, transport, shops and medical facilities, will be a far more rentable prospect than a one which is not.

Low Maintenance

Wiring, plumbing and heating units can be some of the big ticket repairs landlords will have to fork out for. When buying an older property, ensure these units are contemporary and well serviced.

Gardens should be drought-resistant and attractive yet minimalistic. Tenants are generally less house-proud than owner-occupiers.

Features

Unlike homeowners, tenants are less attracted by large blocks of land which they may have to maintain. Likewise things such as swimming pools may be fine on luxury properties but can be expensive or difficult for a tenant to take care of. They also require conformity to stringent regulations around fencing etc. and can be more of a headache than an attraction.

Look for properties which offer a little bit extra or features such as:

  • Ducted heating
  • Dishwasher
  • Garage
  • Ensuite

Types of housing

Whilst it can be tempting to look at apartments or units as a cheap investment prospect, you are limited as to your ability to develop or add value to these types of properties. Beware of hidden exorbitant body corporate fees, particularly in complexes which offer selling points such as gymnasiums and swimming pools – many investors have been burned by the ongoing costs of these properties.

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Investing has long been recognized as the best way to grow wealth. Done wisely and with a great deal of research and planning, investing in property may be the key to secure a comfortable and prosperous retirement.

Real Estate Investment Strategies For The New Investor

If you have heard about the incredible financial benefits associated with real estate investing, you may eager to make your first investment. While real estate investments can be risky, they also have tremendous upside potential that may be difficult to overlook. As is the case with any other type of investments, you need to approach real estate investing strategically. These tips will help you to develop a strategy that is right for you.

Prepare Your Personal Finances

Real estate purchases are huge financial transactions. Some investors pay cash, but more commonly, real estate loans are used for investment leverage. Regardless of whether you are buying a rental home or a commercial investment property, your financial situation will be scrutinized when you apply for a loan. Your credit history, employment history, liquid assets, non-liquid assets and other factors will all be reviewed. Before you begin searching for your first property, analyze and prepare your finances so that you can present yourself in the best possible light to banks and investors. This is also a time to determine how much money you want to contribute as a down payment for your first investment.

Locate Partners

Many real estate investors get their feet wet on their own, but others will join forces with a more experienced investor for their first investment. If a partnership is an option for you, look for a dependable partner who has profound experience and who is willing to show you the ropes. Consider setting up a legal entity to purchase the property under after consulting with an attorney and an accountant.

Leverage Strategically

One of the most substantial benefits associated with real estate investing is the ability to leverage your investment with financing. However, this should be done strategically. Consider that the down payment that you make on a property will affect the monthly payment and overhead. Because of this, it also directly impacts your monthly profitability and your overall return on investment. There are many real estate financing options. Rates and terms vary based on the property type, down payment amount and other factors. Therefore, it is important to find the right financing along with the right property. These two generally are not independent factors.

Grow Your Portfolio

Some investors are satisfied with owning one investment, and they are thrilled to use the return to improve their quality of life. Others, however, want to grow their portfolios. You can continue to save money for each new purchase and down payment, or you can use equity in your existing investments to expand your portfolio over the years. For example, you may start with an investment in a few houses. After building equity in these rental properties for a few years, you may sell those properties and use the proceeds for a down payment on a small apartment complex. Over time, you can build a huge real estate portfolio with smart investments.

As is the case with any type of new investment, take time to educate yourself about real estate. Use the resources available to you, such as real estate agents, investor partners, property managers and others, to expand your knowledge. With these efforts and a solid strategy to establish and build your portfolio, you may soon be a seasoned and wealthy real estate investor.