How To Improve Your Import Finance Tactics

All businesses rely on their cash funds to operate. Although most businesses typically depend on a steady cash flow to sustain their venture, unfortunately, importing companies usually do not enjoy such liberties. This is mainly because import companies have long cash flow cycles.

Businesses in the import industry will therefore need to have and use the right financing strategies in place so that their venture won’t go under. In addition, owners of import businesses shouldn’t be complacent with the financing strategies they have; they should find ways to improve them.

Below are some tips for businesses on improving their finance strategies:

Be mindful and keep track of all relevant rules and regulations of import. To effectively import finance strategies, owners of importing businesses need to be aware of the regulations and rules set by the different countries for import. Being knowledgeable of all applicable rules and regulations of import finance strategies is important to keep things fast. In addition, knowing the key shipping details and rules is crucial because this helps increase understanding of the whole business.

Select the most suitable payment method. Choosing the right payment method is another important step business owners need to improve their import finance strategies. The most common payment methods import business owners can choose from include Letters of Credit or LOC, bills of exchange arrangement, and open account. According to finance experts, these options are considered the best in the import and export industry since they make transactions easier. If you are still in the process of selecting your payment method, make sure that you know the transaction fees and hidden charges before making your final decision.

Choose a good and reliable financial institution to work with. Selecting a trustworthy financing partner is also crucial in improving your finance strategies. Although there are numerous of these institutions today, not all these establishments can fit your business needs. Take the time to do sufficient research on these institutions and check their services so that you can make a choice that can promise the best returns.

Have contingencies in place. Finally, make sure you have substitutes. Various financing institutions offer solutions that can help secure the interests of both the sellers and buyers. However, a few issues may arise that can have a long-lasting impact on your company’s import finance strategies. Because of this, it is important to search for substitutes. For instance, if you choose to pay for your order beforehand, do this only for low value shipments. With long-term business partners, consider opening an account with them. This strategy can help you to be secure and have a more profitable business.

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Getting Financed For The Condo You Want

Avoid looking at condominiums you really can’t afford. There is no reason to set yourself up to fall in love with a place and then you can’t get the money for it. You also have to be careful about getting financed but knowing you realistically can’t stick with such a payment month after month. Don’t put yourself in that type of position where foreclosure is possible.

Finding a Lender
Take your time to find a lender with plenty of experience so you can get the condominiums with the best choice for your needs. Ask your friends, family, and people you work with who they have talked to. Chances are you know someone who has purchased a condo I in the last year. You can also evaluate lenders online and set up appointments to talk to them.

Ask them questions about their experience because you want a lender that is easy to work with. They should be friendly and communicate well. They should return calls timely and answer ay questions you may have. They can walk you through the application process. Make sure you fill it out accurately and don’t skip any of the sections. Talk to them if you aren’t sure what to put.

Never lie or omit details when it comes to your application for one of the condominiums. Be honest and let them tell you what documents they need to get the processing done. The verification they request can include tax returns, verification of income, a photo ID, and consent to complete a credit report. Profit and loss reports are required for self-employment.

Evaluate the Loan Offer
Once they get the loan completed, they can share with you what can be offered towards one of the condominiums. This includes the maximum amount of the loan, the interest rate, and what your monthly payment will be if you borrow that amount of money. If you can find a condo you want for less, this means your monthly payment will be lower and that is always good news.

If you don’t understand the offer, ask plenty of questions. Don’t be in a rush to accept the offer until you know what it entails. You are making a long-term commitment when you buy one of the condominiums so don’t leave anything to chance with this part of the process. Once you are happy with the offer, it is time to find your place!

The Market
There are plenty of people interested in buying condos in this area. You are going to have more buying power though if you are already approved for the money. This means a great deal in the eyes of the seller. They will be more willing to negotiate the price with you than holding out for more from any other offer they may get down the road.

Compare prices in different locations too because a condo in one neighbourhood can cost you considerably more than one just a few miles away. If you need to stretch the money you will get with the loan, take that into consideration. It may be worth it to have more space and a slightly longer commute than the other way around.

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Owner Finance: Creating Passive Income Without the Hassles of Tenants, Toilets, and Trash

The infamous 3 Ts: Tenants, Toilets, and Trash! Without a doubt, they are the biggest turnoff when most people consider investing in real estate.

Let’s face it, nobody likes the idea of a late night phone call from a bad tenant complaining about a leaking toilet or busted pipe. I can tell you first hand that it certainly isn’t what you want to experience on a Friday night. For many people, being a hands-on landlord just doesn’t fit with their desired lifestyle. And while the benefits of owning rental properties are tremendous, that is certainly understandable.

Is there a way to generate substantial passive income using real estate without these late night phone calls and the headaches of dealing with less than desirable tenants?

What is truly amazing about real estate investing is there is absolutely no need to try and fit a square peg in a round hole. There are many different ways other than owning rental properties to generate significant passive income while still being secured by a hard asset. One of my favorite investment strategies that I have utilized extensively over the years is owner financing.

In this article we will look at the benefits of owner financing and see if this could be a good fit for your financial and lifestyle goals.

Key Benefits:

Substantial Passive Income:

A real estate secured note is generally going to produce a strong monthly payment to you that is vastly superior to more traditional investments like stocks or bonds. For retirees facing the “yield crisis,” this high level of consistent income can be extremely attractive.

Secured by Tangible Asset:

It is hard to find many other assets that offer the tangible security of real estate. Having lived in Houston when Enron collapsed, I saw first-hand the devastation that can occur when stock holders are wiped out. It was absolutely catastrophic for many families as life savings vanished overnight. With a real estate note, if your borrower should default then you would foreclose on the property. Property laws in Texas are very strong, and generally strong throughout the United States, from a lender’s perspective.

“Hassle-Free” Income:

Other than collecting a check from the mailbox, with a real estate note there really isn’t much management at all as long as the borrower is living up to their end of the agreement. You are free to travel, vacation, or do whatever you please without much responsibility from your side. Should the borrower fail to honor their obligation, you will most likely need to hire an attorney to begin the collection/foreclosure process.

Great for Properties That Don’t Fit Your Rental Standards:

I spend a significant amount of my marketing investment on finding tremendous deals on Off-Market Properties. Often I come across extremely attractive deals on properties that I am not interested in keeping as a rental property. Perhaps the property is too old or needs too many repairs or simply the economics just don’t justify the headaches. These properties are great candidates to sell via owner financing and allow you to create a terrific stream of passive income.

Creating Phantom Money and Charging Interest on It:

Owner financing is probably the closest an ordinary person can come to emulating the tremendous benefits a bank enjoys. Not only do you get to create money “out of thin air,” you also get to charge interest on it. What a system! (See Example 1 below)

Spread:

In addition to the interest you receive off of phantom money, you can also financially benefit from the spread between the rate you borrow money at and the rate you “lend” money at. (See Example 1 below)

Delay/Reduce Tax Impact on Rehabs:

Rehabbing properties can be tremendously profitable. One major drawback however is that the profits are typically going to be taxed at the ordinary income tax rate (which can exceed 35%). By utilizing owner financing, you may be able to substantially defer and reduce your tax rate because it is an installment sale. Please consult with a qualified CPA to understand the full tax advantages and implications.

No Tenants, No Toilets, No Trash:

Without a doubt one of the most appealing aspects of owner financing. After the sale, you have no responsibility for the maintenance of the property. All repairs are now the responsibility of the new owner.

As you can see, owner financing has some extremely attractive benefits. Substantial passive income, secured by hard asset, and none of the typical hassles associated with tenants, toilets, and trash make this a very appealing option. If you are looking for secured, consistent monthly income without the responsibilities of rental ownership, owner finance may be a great strategy!

Example 1:

Let’s assume using all cash that you buy and rehab a single family house that has an after-repair value of $100,000. Following the standard 70% of ARV rule, your total investment in the house after repairs is $70,000. You now market the home directly yourself and a find an owner finance buyer at $100,000. You require a $10,000 down payment and agree to split the $1,500 closing costs 50/50.

Sales Price: $100,000

Down Payment: $10,000

New Note Created: $90,000

Note Terms: 30 years @ 8.0%

Monthly Payment: $660.39

Your Initial Costs: $70,000 acquisition/rehab costs + $750 closing costs

Less Down Payment Received: -$10,000

Your Investment: $60,750

You have now just created $29,250 in “phantom money” or equity and are charging interest on it. In the first year you will receive $7,924.68 in note payments with $7,172.81 being interest and only $751.87 being applied to the principal balance.

For emphasis, you are receiving $7,172.81 in interest on a $60,750 investment. That’s an 11.8% interest-only, cash throw-off on an unlevered, hands-off investment!

Continuing with the example above, let’s assume you were able to refinance another property and borrow the entire $60,750 at 5% on a 30-year note. Without having invested any of your own money, you would now be receiving:

8% on the $29,250 in new equity that was created as well as the 3% spread on the $60,750 you owe (the difference between the 5% you borrow at and the 8% you lend at). Your annual cash flow is $4,011.24 ($7,924.68 you receive less $3,913.44 you pay the lender) and you are receiving an “infinite” rate of return because you have no money invested in the deal.

[The example above is “pretty plain vanilla” and is just meant to illustrate the concept. There are many more exotic and advanced structures with owner financing (wraps, etc… ) as well. As always, it is highly advisable that you contact a local real estate attorney as laws regarding owner finance vary tremendously from state to state.]

Note: I highly recommend reading my article “14 Reasons You Must consider Owning Rental Properties” as a point of comparison on investing strategies. Every investment strategy has both pros and cons.

READY TO START FINDING GREAT REAL ESTATE DEALS?

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Project Management Screw-Up 7 – We Didn’t Involve The Right People

Some years back I worked on a process re-engineering project at a large industrial manufacturer. The project went on for several months and it looked as if things were going quite well. Then, a person that I’ll call “Hack” showed up on the project who reported to one of the divisional VP’s. Hack came into the project with a negative view of the project and, after spending a couple of weeks on the project, was successful in convincing the divisional VP that the project should be shut down.

The project team packed up and was out of there that day. In looking at the situation, had we involved Hack earlier in the project we could have made some fundamental changes in the direction which would have put the project on a path more in line with management expectations and avoided wasting time & money on the project.

Chances are, there has been a Hack on one of your projects who showed up, disrupted everything and either slowed down or derailed your project completely. It could be that it was the wrong business decision to shut the project down, but it could also be that it was the right thing to do because the project wasn’t addressing the collective need of the customer. Regardless of right or wrong, it is very important to know who to involve in your project to better ensure success and avoid the waste and frustration of a stalled project.

So, let’s talk about the people, or stakeholders, who aren’t assigned to the project but can materially influence its outcome. In my experience, stakeholders generally fall into two groups: customer stakeholders, or those you help, and supplier stakeholders, or those who help you. Your customer stakeholders primarily are going to be your customer population and their associated management. At the end of the day, they are going to be the ultimate judge of your end product and will be your ultimate measure of success. Your supplier stakeholders can be quite varied. Technical support personnel, consultants, and third-party software providers are all examples of supplier stakeholders. As you design your project, you’ll need to think about the types of help that you will need and enlist support from your supplier stakeholders to help ensure success.

How it happens:

There is not clear definition on who the customer is – Getting your customer list right and making them aware of the project early on is super important in avoiding project stalls and fire drills because someone is bent out of shape because they weren’t included. Something that I’ve learned (again the hard way) is that you very well could be doing everything right on your project and that the project is being done for all the right reasons. However, if someone was not included (but should have been) in the project at the beginning and “finds out” that the project is going on, you have a situation on your hands. You not only need to orient them to the project and get their commitment, but also smooth ruffled feathers because you didn’t include them in the first place. Many times things work out OK, but you’ve taken time away from other activities to deal with a fire drill that could have been avoided had you better defined the customer list at project onset..

Others who could help with specific issues on the project weren’t utilized – On one project that I was the business owner, an employee relatively new to the company was working on a critical project to aggregate worldwide financial planning information and report it to senior finance management. He did an outstanding job of defining the information requirements, setting up the reporting infrastructure, and managing the team members assigned to him to complete the project. He came up against a project issue and was working hours on end trying to get the issue resolved among the project team. When he raised the issue to me, I asked him if he had contacted the group in the company that had expertise on the very issue he was trying to solve on his own. End of the story is that he solicited help from the group and they resolved the issue that afternoon. Knowing who can help you get through tough project issues can save you tons of time and frustration and avoid wasting precious project resources.

The people who can torpedo a project weren’t identified and managed – Just as in my “Hack” example above, it will help you immensely to know who is likely to create trouble for your project. When I was a consultant doing a project in a particularly political or contentious environment, we would review the customer’s organization chart with the customer project manager and identify friends and foes of the project. With project friends, we maintained the relationship with them by keeping them briefed on project progress to ensure that they remained friends. With the foes, we would take deliberate steps to meet with the foe, review the project with them, understand their reservations, and attempt to let them put their thumbprint on the project to make it more palatable to them. Sometimes this was successful where a foe became a friend of the project, but other times the foe remained a foe and we had to rely on the project sponsor to help us manage the foe. Either way, know who can hurt you and actively manage the relationship with them.

Warning Signs:

You’re getting a lot of questions from other stakeholder groups on what you’re doing – Sometimes this could simply be that stakeholder groups are curious about your project and find it interesting. This could also mean, though, that there are stakeholders that should have a voice in your project and are currently not being heard. Be aware of assessing the degree of involvement that other stakeholder group needs to have on your project and be open to involving them based on business need.

Uninvited stakeholders start showing up at project meetings – So you’re in a project status meeting and a stakeholder that has previously not been associated with the project shows up. It very well could be that the stakeholder has a need to know what’s going on and they just need to get up to speed on the project. It may be the right thing to involve the stakeholder, but avoid allowing the stakeholder to hijack your meeting and wasting time of other participants by getting a project briefing during a time where other project business was slated to be discussed.

Project issues are taking longer than expected to resolve — If team members appear to be spinning their wheels on a project issue, it could be that they are not involving the right subject matter experts and are attempting to wrestle the issue to the ground on their own. Take the time to work with them to make sure that resources available to them are being utilized appropriately.

Turning it around:

Communicate, communicate, communicate – I’ve always found that, unless there is specific confidentiality constraints that forbid you from discussing the project outside of a small group, communication on what you’re doing to different stakeholder groups is crucial. Have a standard pitch that you can give at a moments notice to a group of people which describes the project.

Know who to call – As I mentioned above, don’t slog through issues on your own if you don’t have to. Whenever I run up against a difficult issue on a project, my first thought is “Who can help me resolve this?” Be continually seeking out subject matter experts to help get you through problems. It not only makes your life easier, it better ensures a more successful project completion.

Right-size project involvement – Just because someone wants to be involved in a project (or shows up as an uninvited stakeholder) doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a business need for them to be involved. You’ve got to make conscious decisions on who is involved in a project and to what degree they are involved. Their involvement could be as an interested party that gets a briefing on some periodic basis. Then again, their involvement could be as a decision maker because the product you are producing will have a direct impact on their business.

Let your project sponsor help you – When defining your stakeholders, use your project sponsor to help you with the identification. They will likely know the organization better than you and can help ensure that the right people get involved in the project. You may also need your project sponsor to help you with a foe that is creating problems for you.

Be open to adjusting the focus and scope of the project – If it turns out that you didn’t include the right stakeholders at project onset, be open to refining your focus and scope to ensure your project is addressing your true stakeholder needs. Use your project sponsor to help you in this refinement and in working with the other stakeholders to decide on how business needs either are or aren’t met.

Take Aways:

  • Know who your customer is and involve them up front
  • Know who can help you get things done; don’t try to do everything yourself
  • Know who can torpedo your project and manage the relationship with them
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Tips To Investing in Real Estate

Investing in real estate revolves around selling, renting, managing, owning and even purchasing rear estate at a profit. Real estate has limited liquidity compared to other forms of investments and is intensive in terms of the capital meaning it relies on cash flow. Failing to understand all the important factors of investing in real estate could lead to negative effects and risks that can be fatal.

The best tool you can have when beginning to invest in real estate is education. It is very important and helpful to have all the necessary details and information appertaining to your investments. Overlooking a few factors could really cost you a lot and you could end up being a very frustrated investor. It takes a lot of commitment to gather all the information that is necessary in your investment, but following the right procedures and processes can make it easier and less tedious for you.

Engaging in real estate investing commercially will present you with a variety of creative ways in your investing and will present you with very many opportunities that you never thought existed. This is also a good way of going about the investment plan by savvy investors who learn the real investing from the bottom going up. To get all the information and education that you need is to take into consideration all guides available in the market to make sure that you have all information at hand.

The most important thing is to understand the market trends and behaviors. Guides on real estate investing are a perfect way of starting if you are fresh in the field. You can as well choose to attend seminars concentrating on real estate to make sure you remain well informed and get all the latest news involving the investing. Taking all the important measures will expose you to the essential fundamentals of the whole subject and you will venture into the market with a great understanding and as an informed investor as well.

There are very many methods of investing and ways of maximizing your profits. Doing the right research and involving yourself in things that concentrate on the kind of investment you are looking to engage in are very essential. Get all the information you need even if it may mean asking those who have experience in the field to understand the risks, the best strategies and approaches to the different problems of challenges that may be involved in your trading. There are great benefits waiting to be reaped by those who do not overlook the fundamentals and all the facts affecting. Just like any other kind of business, there are risks involved in real estate investing and you should always be prepared for better days and for days that are not too good.

Your very first consideration should be the location of the building you want to invest in. It is true to say that there are poor neighborhoods, good ones and terrific neighborhoods as well. Good amenities come with terrific neighborhoods which can include schools. A building that is located in such an environment is likely to appreciate very fast compared to one located in a neighborhood that is not too good. It is also true that rich neighborhoods attract more people and can be the best purchase areas or rental areas for you. Wise and informed investors go for such to increase their chances of trading at a profit.

Another thing that is important to consider is the kind of financing you have and how efficient it will serve you in your strategy. There are investors who actually go for loans to facilitate their missions and as long as this works it is a good plan.

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Smart Ways To Business Growth And Expansion

Aim for growth and expansion is what most businesses do especially in a highly competitive business scene. If a business doesn’t work toward those two objectives, it’s basically setting itself up for an early demise for the goal of the competition is to disable the slow and weak. Business growth and expansion can be achieved through following time-tested success principles and these principles create focus for all the efforts aimed at growth, and at the same time, they uphold good standards for every activity executed toward the goal.

If you’re preparing your enterprise for growth and expansion, it’s essential to know what success principles to uphold. To help you with this, listed below are four principles big corporations attest as keys to their success.

First, know that innovation is a must. This indicates that your business understands the needs of your customers and works toward effectively meeting their needs. Innovation is creating something new and great from something that’s already good in order to deliver better value to end users.

Therefore, your business should always study your customers’ journey so you can innovate appropriately. Timing is also very crucial. You can’t be early or late when it comes to growth and expansion. Pre-empting things can spoil their potential, and at the same time a lot of good opportunities are only available for a limited period of time.

You need to be able to take action at the most ideal moment, which is why you need to study provisions carefully, perhaps even seek assistance from advisers or consultant, and be aware of the different financing solutions your business can utilise. Successful people always say that inspired efforts do not deplete energy; rather, they are invigorating. Also, inspiration will enable your organisation to turn setbacks into victorious comebacks.

Stay inspired as you’re working to grow and expand your business because a joyful process never fails to yield the most ideal outcomes. Understand that sacrifices are inevitable but fruitful. There are always sacrifices to be made when you’re aiming for bigger and better things. For your business, this can mean longer hours of work and denying some physical comforts and pleasures for a certain period of time, or scrimping on certain things so resources can be directed toward more important aspects of operations. All in all, these principles will allow you to manage your business more effectively so you can focus on your business growth and expansion.

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What You Will Need to Get Small Business Finance

Poor credit is no barrier to small business owners wishing to obtain business finance. When a small business owner plans to expand business and finds that he has already used up available sources of funding and getting additional finance through regular sources may be too time-consuming, then finance from “non-conventional” sources may be a better option.

What would be the requirements for a business owner to obtain small business finance?

A running business

Startups are precluded from obtaining this type of finance on soft terms. In order to be eligible, a business must be in operation for at least a year.

A minimum amount of sales per month

Someone who has started the business recently and is generating revenues of less than $ 10000 by way of credit card sales may not be eligible for small business funding unless the case is assessed and considered on other grounds such as a potential for growth that the owner can justify and support.

Documentary proofs

Small businesses are usually proprietary types. A business owner, even one with poor credit, should not hesitate to obtain small business capital even if it means paying a higher interest amount because it can help him get back on track to fast growth. The documentation is minimal. He needs to submit proof of ownership. The other documents he must provide are bank statements for the previous six months, proof of identity and proof of residence.

An applicant may wish to get small business finance within 3 to 5 days for which he should apply online and keep ready scanned copies of the above-mentioned documents. These may be uploaded along with the preliminary application. Should the application be approved he may be required to furnish printed copies.

What is not required for the small business loan?

• An applicant need not have a stellar credit history.
• He may not have to furnish collateral or mortgage property.
• He may not have to furnish a guarantor.

It is fast. It is easy. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. An applicant must consider the factor rate applied. This is a fancy term for rate of interest though it is not specifically so mentioned. Repayment may range from 3 months to even as long as 36 months and it is tied to the credit card sales as a percentage of daily turnover or a fixed monthly amount. Should sales be high repayment is completed in a shorter time. In real terms, an applicant may end up paying processing charges plus interest that can be as high as 50% because the loan is unsecured. The best thing to do is to examine the offer and obtain such funds only from a lender who does not charge anything upfront, no processing charges and applies a moderate interest rate.

It is easy to get this type of finance if one has a running business but repayment is the tough part. Small business owners would do well to keep in mind to plan to use funds to generate more revenues instead of paying off existing debts.

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Stop Bad Financial Habits And Choose A Fresh Start

People are often influenced to give unsolicited advice to others about the easiest way to manage finances. Even though of the will make sense, the majority of these are very generic in general. You must exercise caution when you assemble a monetary strategy out from this information, though it’s important to create a precise and consistent plan.

Nevertheless, you happen to be still left together with the unanswered question. How would you prevent the decline of funds on stuff that are of no use, and yet approach managing your individual finances?

The Situation: A lot of people, including you, don’t fully understand how important it is to save cash with regard to their future. Figure out how to save first then spend, not the other way around. While this is superior to no savings in any way, it is definitely not the correct way to build an excellent savings plan.

Steps To Managing Your Individual Finances Well.

Listed here are some important tips that you can consider if you wish to reduce costs for the future. These techniques have helped a lot of people be successful at taking better proper care of their finances.

Put 20% Of The Earnings Into Savings

In case you are to be successful in the foreseeable future, carry out the opposite of just what the average person does. As opposed to saving whatever remains, save first and spend afterward. Even if you are expecting a reduced check than normal, be sure to save 20% out from each and every single check that you receive. Make sure to deposit this money once you receive money. You will have learned a vital lesson, and saving the amount of money than enables you to work your way down taking good care of everything, bills first.

Saving money assists you to create a healthy financial habit that will help you to budget your money efficiently for the rest of your way of life. You could possibly feel much less stressed about finances when you know that you have an urgent situation fund available.

Don’t Complicate Matters

It is obvious the iPhone 7 is great. Your buddies and colleagues have purchased it,but the iPhone 6 plus is one that you simply bought a few time ago. While many of these new gadgets are fun and exciting to have, you undoubtedly don’t need a new phone unless your old phone is dying. You must never buy it unless you really want an iPhone 7.

Can that new phone do something that your particular old model can’t do? It is essential to sometimes treat yourself with luxuries, just make sure this really is something great rather than some of those undesirable habits one does repeatedly. Additional money is the best money to pay, not the 20% you will be saving.

Cash Over Credit

Maybe you are from the opinion the charge cards in your wallet should be used, not hidden away. Often we start off with good intentions buying only small things likely to pay them off at the conclusion of every month. $50 here or $25 there can’t hurt, and you can always pay it off following the month. That brand of thinking gets people in trouble quickly, plus they rack up a pile of debt.

Using cash whenever you can will help you to curb this tendency. Don’t make use of credit card unless it’s a crisis situation. Alternatively, it is possible to change it out having a debit card, and that is a significantly better option!

Keep in mind that becoming a rock star at personal finance doesn’t have to be hard. It requires breaking undesirable habits and creating new, healthier ones.

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6 Great Ideas For Student Loan Management

Due to the higher costs of education in today’s challenging times, it is important for us to consider the effect of efficient student loan management. Each student must, however consider their loan management plan that can easily fit into their lifestyle and will fit within their budget.

It is important to have a sound plan that will also be simple to operate and easy to understand (should someone else design your management plan for you).

Below are six ideas that will help you consider your option for your management plan.

Create

Create accurate records of your loan details. Make sure to file your documents carefully and also make detailed notes of what agreements you have made: interest rates, schedules and so on. Make sure that you create an easy to use spreadsheet of all your details and put in a separate folder on your computer. Making sure that you keep detailed records of all transactions so it will be easy for you to review at any time when needed.

Plan

Make sure to plan all of your expenditures and allow for any contingencies that may happen. Make sure that you include money that you may require for day to day living.

Teach

Teach yourself how you can cut your expenses to the bare minimum. It may be an advantage to share costs with other students or friends. Do your own washing, try and avoid eating out and try and make your own nutritious meals at home. Live frugally, cut down on entertainment expenses by going back to basics, go for walks in the park, try natural entertainment option.

Work

Get additional income to help you get through. Look at other ideas to raise more money such as a building a passive income through a web based business or take a look at crowdsourcing, where you can get the crowd to finance your studies. Also save a percentage of your part time income to help when things get tough.

Study

You are going to have to study, right? So just try and increase your studying efforts by another ten percent and ramp up your efforts, this may actually have the benefit of helping you to win prizes and perhaps even get a scholarship.

Cash

Money talks and BS walk as they say in the classics. Another idea is to ask family members to consider giving you cash gifts instead of traditional presents. It may seem small, but it could just be enough to help you get through a difficult month.

Make sure that you consider the following:

• Make sure your monthly payments are paid in a timely manner.

• Minimize costs by paying higher monthly installments than you need to.

• Loan consolidation should be considered only as a last thing.

•Make sure to keep all of your personal details up to date with your financial institutions.

• Regularly check all of your statements so you can see there are no errors.

• If, for some reason you may be late with a payment, inform your financial institution immediately.

It can be a relatively easy thing to control student loan management in an effective and efficient manner, just make sure that you use the loan for the reason that it was intended

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6 Steps to Improve Financial Savvy Before Leaving College

Students should aim to improve their financial knowledge before graduating from college. Otherwise, they will succumb to temptations and live in bondage to debt. Further, debt will prevent them from pursuing projects and activities later in life. Not only does debt create a financial burden, it generates emotional stress that can stymie an entire family. It is debilitating!

Handling finances well means learning to choose wisely. And learning to discern and choose wisely should be an important lesson students acquire at college. This ability applies not only to finances but every area of life. Indeed, I think learning to choose wisely should be a continuing process as students journey through life. To be sure, folks must deal effectively, at each life stage, with important lifestyle decisions.

Students might not be able to take formal credit courses in finances; however, on their own, they should set out to learn to handle finances well. Certainly they should do this before taking on student l Meanwhile, I believe, before leaving college, each student should follow the six steps below to learn and develop his or her financial knowledge.

Six steps to improve financial knowledge

1. Start developing a personal mission statement

2. Start working with a budget today

3. If in debt with students loans, start planning for repayment

4. Identify spending drivers and start working on needed lifestyle changes

5. Start an emergency fund

6. Get a trusted accountability partner

Start developing a personal mission statement

Your mission is your purpose in life–what you are all about. It needs to be clear, complete, concise. It will help direct your path. If you follow Jesus, let Him guide you. A clear mission statement will help you choose wisely. Most of all, it will help you avoid rabbit trails and other traps along the way. My personal mission statement is to teach biblical stewardship and preach God’s word faithfully.

What if you can’t find your purpose? That’s fine. Keep praying about it. Meanwhile, be alert to your circumstances and opportunities that come your way.

Start working with a budget today

A budget is nothing more than your best estimate of time, talents, and resources needed to carry out your mission. It is a stress reliever. It will help you see opportunities and challenges in advance so you might plan to seize them, or avoid them.

If in debt with students loans, start planning for repayment

Luke 14: 28 reminds us to count the cost before acting. It applies specifically to becoming a disciple of Jesus, but I think we should heed it for all decisions. If you have student loans today, you should prepare a debt repayment schedule to learn what debt obligations might be at graduation. Too many students complain to me about students loans after graduation! Before taking on debt, take time to understand the amount of loans you are likely to hold at graduation, and the likely effect it might have on you then.

Identify spending drivers and start working on needed lifestyle changes

You don’t control money, you control your decisions to spend. So, you need to understand what “drives” you to spend. Your spending drivers must be your control focus. Identify these areas and decide changes needed to control them. Often, it’s tradition, and assumptions we make about needs that cause us to spend. The best example I have seen is people’s perceived need for a telephone land line. For many folks, it’s redundant.

Start an emergency fund (Capital Fund)

Which of your stuff might break, need replacement, or otherwise create unexpected spending while at college? You don’t know for sure, but you should look at your possessions and answer that question. How old is your computer? Do you have a car? The idea is to realize that things break and when that happens, to repair them will affect your budget. Try the Capital Fund tool to help you prepare for the unexpected.

Get a trusted accountability partner

Do you have a buddy whom you can trust? Someone who does not judge you or lecture you. However, someone who will be honest with you and help you understand when you are moving away from truth and into rationalizations? I believe someone like this can help you work through and stay with these six steps. Ideally, there could be mutual accountability as that person works through his or her plan, too.

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