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Money Management Basics

The way you spend and manage your money has a significant effect on your entire lifestyle. Unfortunately, critical money management skills aren’t commonly taught in schools, although that’s starting to change.

Money Management Basics

Determine your income sources

Whether you are a student, an employee, a business owner or a retired, you need to list your income sources and determine how much income each source generates. For most of us, the main source of income is the salary or wage we receive from our employer and in the most cases, it is a fixed amount each month. If this money is insufficient, consider additional income sources: you can start a second job, offer some services as a freelancer, sell your own products or declutter your house and organize a garage sale.

Spend less than you make

Once you know how much you expect to make on a monthly basis, add up your expenses. The rule of thumb when it comes to personal finance is to spend less money than you earn. If you spend even a thousand dollars more per year than what you earn, you will end up in a spiral of debt that is hard to come out of. If you spend exactly the same amount as your income, you will never be able to save money and be prepared for unexpected events, good or bad. Spend less than your earnings and put some money aside.

Do this by setting up a budget. You need to know where your money goes. Get in the habit of categorizing your bills and tracking your spending. The easiest way to set up a budget – even a basic one – is with a pen, paper and a calculator to help you determine how much money you can spend on each category. Now that you can see your budget at-a-glance, you can decide on the expenses you can cut – do you really need that new dress? Is it really time to upgrade your car? Can you afford this vacation right now? Set a budget threshold that is below your monthly income and try to stick to it.

Make smart investments

Do you wonder why rich people get richer? The simple answer is because they invest their money. Even if you do not have a lot of money, it is better to invest some, rather than keep all of it under your mattress. If you have no financial education or investment knowledge and experience, you can consult an expert, like a financial adviser or a money management coach. They will help you select the right investment vehicle based on your personal financial situation, risk tolerance and goals. Generally, it is better to have a diversified investment portfolio, rather than put all your eggs in one basket.

Choose the right bank account

Some banks require a minimum balance to open a bank account. Some banks charge monthly fees for maintaining your account or your credit card, or if you write more checks than the limit. Some institutions combine both, while others may have no fees. Some accounts come with handy apps that help you manage money, free transfers, automated bill pay and fee-free ATM.

Use your credit card wisely

It is easy to get a credit card and it is also easy to get into debt using one. Never buy things using a credit card that you can’t afford otherwise. In other words, if you don’t have the amount in your bank account to pay the credit card installments every month, don’t make that purchase. In addition to that, some credit card companies may give you a cash back or points if you make payments on time. There are a number of different credit cards with various rewards options. If you have one and find another that suits you better, you may be able to transfer your balance at 0% interest, so it’s worth looking into. Always pay your credit card bill on time to avoid late fees and extra interest.

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10 tips to Keep the Resale Value of Your Car High

Top 10 tips to Keep the Resale Value of Your Car High

If you are thinking about selling your car, you’ll obviously want to get the maximum sale price. The answer is pretty simple – think like a buyer. If you are to purchase a new vehicle what are the things that will attract you to a certain car, and which drawbacks will turn you off?

10 tips to Keep the Resale Value of Your Car High

1. Keep your car well-maintained

One of the most important expectations is to have your car in the best possible condition. Regular maintenance is important since it guarantees your safety on the road and as a bonus boosts the resale value of the car. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines about checking and replacing fluids and have your car inspected by a mechanic on a regular basis or when you are in doubt.

2. Keep all paperwork

Keeping your car well-maintained is important, however, keeping a record of all the checks and repairs is also very useful. You will be able to show service records to the prospective buyer and increase your chances of getting a good deal.

3. Clean your car regularly

Even if your car is in the best condition, if it looks dirty and sloppy, no buyer will look at it. Clean your car regularly. In warm weather it is advisable to wash your car twice a month – you can do it either by hand with the appropriate car wash detergent or go to a carwash & detailing center. It is also important to wax the car at least twice a year for best results.

4. Take good care of the interior

It is important to keep your interior clean. Use special cleaning solutions depending on the material used in your car – textile or leather. Avoid eating and drinking in the car as some stains are close to impossible to remove. Never smoke in the car – the smell may stay for a long time and it will be unpleasant for potential buyers, whether they are smokers or not.

5. Protect your car from freezing and overheating

Adverse weather takes a toll on your car. Therefore, you need to protect it both from freezing and overheating. The best way is to find a covered parking, preferably a garage, and keep your car there. The overall maintenance and cleaning also help the car cope better with heat or cold.

6. Mind the mileage

If you are planning to sell your car, try to keep your mileage as low as possible. A lower figure will attract much more buyers. And if you are reaching 100,000 miles better stop driving your car before hitting this figure as psychologically it is regarded higher… unlike 98,000 for example.

7. Fix all dents and scratches

Dents, dings, and scratches appear as a result of the everyday use of the car. Fix them immediately after you notice them as it will cost you less and will help get a better resale price.

8. Make minor repairs on time

If there are minor problems that need to be repaired, it is better to fix them before selling the vehicle. Check with your mechanic how much it will cost you and decide if it is worth the investment compared to the resale value you get after the fix. Besides, minor problems are cheaper to fix.

9. Check your tires and buy a second set of wheels

Always check the condition of your tires, keep them clean and maintain the right pressure. The car will behave better on the road. It is also advisable to buy yourself a second pair of wheels to use in the winter. It will be a plus when selling the car as it will be yet another proof that you have taken good care of your vehicle.

10. Drive carefully

Last but not least, drive carefully. Any car that has been in a road accident has a lower resale value compared to the others. Therefore, for your own sake and for the benefit of the future buyer, follow all road signs and pay extra attention while driving.

Maintaining your car well will also help you get a higher title loan, should you ever need to use that option. Fast Money Loan is a title loan company in California with offices across the area, offers quick cash loans on your car title with no credit check. Need cash? Own your car? Find the office nearest to you here: www.ineedafastmoneyloan.com.

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Preventing Sun & Heat damage to your car | Car Care

Preventing sun & heat damage to your car

You may believe that winter is the worst enemy of the vehicle because of its freezing temperatures or the salt and other chemicals used on the roads. And while it is true that the cold takes its toll on the car, the heat is no lesser enemy. The sun and heat can damage the paint on your car, ruin its exterior and interior and cause trouble under the hood. Here are a few tips to help you take proper care of your vehicle during the summer months.

Preventing Sun & Heat damage to your car

Prevent sun and heat damage to the exterior of your car

The exterior of your car is the first thing that will get damaged by the scorching temperatures and the long stay under the sun.

  • Prevent paint damage: The paint is one of the most sensitive elements that you need to take good care of during summer. Wash your car regularly and use auto paint protection kits to make sure that it is well protected. Waxing your car is also a good recommendation. Even though it may require some time and effort, it will protect the exterior from further damage and make its cleaning and maintenance easier.
  • Wash your car properly. It is important to wash your car regularly, especially in the summer heat; however, you need to do it properly. Use appropriate cleaning products to remove road oils, tar, dead bugs and overall pollution. Avoid dish detergent or harsh soaps as they may damage the paint. It is also very important to dry the car afterward using a soft cloth or towel in order to remove any minerals and avoid water spots.
  • Wax your car. We already mentioned that this is an important step in protecting your car exterior from the sun rays. In addition, it will prevent the accumulation of dirt and will make the next washing much easier and quicker. You can purchase a buffer that will make the entire waxing process much more pleasant.
  • Take special care of your convertible top. If you are driving a convertible, make sure to take proper care of the top according to its type. There are special cleaning and protection products for both canvas/cloth and vinyl tops. Always buy the appropriate ones and follow the instructions on how to use them if you want your top to have a longer

How to protect the interior from sun and heat damage

The interior of your vehicle is equally endangered by the heat and sun during the summer months. Do not forget the greenhouse effect, which means that the temperature inside your car is much higher than the temperature outside. Here are a few tricks:

  • Garage your car whenever possible.
  • Park in the shade.
  • Make sure to park with your rear facing the sun so that you can reduce the UV damage to your dashboard.
  • Use reflectorized panels on your windshields.
  • Install tinted windows.
  • Use seat covers—they will both protect the interior and increase your comfort level.
  • Keep your interior clean. Vacuum and wash it regularly, and apply protectant or conditioner in accordance with the type of interior you have: leather, vinyl or cloth.

On the hottest days, given that your car is parked in a safe place: leave your windows slightly open so that the temperature inside doesn’t rise that much. Do not do this if you have parked in an unsafe neighborhood or unfamiliar place.

How to protect engines and tires from sun and heat damage

The sun is equally dangerous for all the parts hidden under the hood of your vehicle and for its tires. The best advice is to have your car checked by a mechanic who can make sure that everything is okay. If you are good at doing this yourself, then do not forget to check the following:

  • Make sure that your cooling system is working properly. All belts and hoses should be in good condition and without cracks. Check that you have sufficient coolant and that it was replaced accordingly.
  • Check all the fluids. Make sure that motor oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid are at the recommended level.
  • Make sure your battery and charging system is functioning properly since high temperatures can wear it out quicker and even make the battery fail.
  • Check the air conditioning. It is very important that you stay cool while driving in the heat.
  • Check tire pressure. Under-inflated tires are very dangerous in hot weather. Since there is more friction with the heated pavement, the tires may blowout. Always make sure that you are following the manufacturer’s recommendations in terms of tire pressure.  It is also important to keep your tires and rims clean.

Do not underestimate the damage that sun and heat can cause. If possible, have your car checked by a mechanic at the start of the summer so that you can be calm while driving.

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fall behind on bills

What to do when you fall behind on bills

Nowadays, many Americans live paycheck to paycheck and it is not very difficult to fall behind on bills. This might be just a temporary situation because of accumulated medical bills or a more long-term misfortune if you have lost your job or you are experiencing some other issues.

fall behind on bills

If you find yourself in this situation – don’t despair, – there are several things that you can do to catch up on bills. Here are some of the best tips to follow.

Make a list of your unpaid debts

If you are falling behind on your bills, take some time to make a list of them. Write down who you owe and how much you owe. You can also add a breakdown of how much the monthly installment is and how many months/weeks you are currently behind. Then put down how much money you have on hand to cover any of the bills.

The next step is to prioritize the payments. Usually, your mortgage or rent should be the first unpaid bill to settle, followed by your utility bills. The next in line come the bills with higher interest rates or those that are most behind.

Make sure to first cover those payments that are important for your everyday life – such as having a place to live in, water, electricity, etc. Delaying your credit card payments may result in bad credit score but is not as dangerous as losing your home.

Try to renegotiate your payments

Most of the lenders are willing to renegotiate the terms of your payment plan once you start struggling with it. Try to explore all possible options available. Quite often, the lender is more willing to receive less per month than be faced with your default have to deal with you should you decide to declare bankruptcy as a result of failure to repay your debts.

Create a budget

Creating a budget is important for everyone, especially for someone who is having trouble paying the bills. When you can’t pay your mortgage, utility bills or you have accumulated unexpected medical bills, for example, it is time to cut down on some things in order to make ends meet.

The first things that you need to give up are entertainment expenses – dining out, going to the movies, or paying for subscriptions. Then you can consider eating ordinary produce and not organic. Try to make your shopping list as short as possible and avoid the usual junk food and treats.

Something very important when creating your budget is to be realistic about your goals. Do not expect to suddenly get back on track after one or two months of restrictions. Aim to do it gradually. If you are behind 4 bills this month, try to catch up on one, then on another next month until it is all done. Setting small goals and achieving them will give you the necessary boost to keep going.

It is also good to track your daily spending. Make sure that you spend as much money as you have allocated to each item – groceries, fuel, coffee, etc. There are even some apps to help you in that endeavor, like Mint or Pocket guard.

Consider a second job

Falling behind on bills requires finding extra cash to pay them. While cutting your expenses is a way to save money, starting a second or even a third job is a way to make more. Working twice as much and during the weekends will give you the opportunities to repay those overdue bills much quicker. It also means that you will have less free time to spend money on restaurants or other entertainment.

Another positive side is that you will get a new experience and have a chance to meet new and interesting people. Besides, remember that this is a temporary solution, you will enjoy your free time twice as much when it’s all over with.

Borrow from family

If you are close with your family, consider borrowing some money to help you cover the bills. It may be difficult to ask, but your family is probably more than happy to help you out. You can even come up with a payment agreement and suggest that they charge you interest to make it fair. It is the most economical way to borrow as your family will likely charge you very low interest, if any.

Get car title loan with no credit check

Last but not least, you need to consider taking a loan in order to cover your outstanding payments. One of the fastest and easiest ways to do it is by applying for a car title loan online. The process is simple and straightforward and you get approval and cash in less than an hour.  The advantages of a car title loan are as follows:

  • Quick access to much-needed cash
  • Transparent terms and conditions
  • No credit check
  • Easy to get approval without much hassle and documentation to fill out

To get a title loan you need to be 18 years of age and have a lien-free vehicle title on your name. The best thing is that you keep and drive your car, even though it serves as a collateral for your loan. The other good thing is that you can contact several companies online, receive their offers and decide on the best one without any commitment to the others.

Quite often, title loans are taken for a shorter period of time, such as one or two months, and serve as a fixture not only for unpaid bills but to welcome unexpected happy events as well, like an engagement, a school trip, etc.

Falling behind on bills is not uncommon and you shouldn’t panic if it happens to you. Identify your weak points in terms of repaying your debts and take immediate action to resolve them. Use the tips above as a guide and believe in your ability to overcome difficulties.

Are you behind? Get caught up fast with a no credit check title loan from Fast Money Loana title loan company serving Long Beach and the rest of California. We have the lowest rates and super easy approval process.

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