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How to Stay Financially Motivated When Times are Tough

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The following is a guest article from Lucy Oake, contributing writing at One Smart Dollar. Let’s face it – sometimes life throws you a curve ball. There are lots of situations when it feels like you’ll never be able to get ahead financially. Focusing on what you can’t control will only bog you down with negativity. Instead, focus on what you can control – including your finances. When times are tough, here are some of the best ways to keep your momentum and stay positive. Start – or update – your budget There are a bunch of different way to budget out there. What worked for you six months ago may not work as well if something has changed in your life. Relationships, jobs, and savings priorities can all be good reasons to take a fresh look at your budget. Sticking to a budget can be hugely rewarding because no matter what type you use, a good budget will help you reach your goals. So take a look at some of the most common budgeting methods and see if your budget needs a makeover. Make your goals visual A budget is a great financial tool, but sometimes it’s not very … Read more

What You Need to Consider When Renting a Car on Your Next Vacation

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The long overdue vacation is finally booked. Plane tickets are bought, and you found someone to watch your plants, take care of your pets, and retrieve the mail. All that’s left are the final details of the trip itself, including possibly renting a vehicle. One of the big questions when renting a vehicle is whether to purchase rental insurance. You know they’re going to ask you at the rental car counter, but you should have some information in hand before you answer that question. See what coverage you already have If you have already have cheap car insurance and you’re planning a trip, the first thing you should do before traveling is look at your car insurance policy. “If you’ll be using a rental vehicle, make sure your policy affords coverage for a rental vehicle,” said Dan Rosenow, associate director of compliance for Dairyland Auto®. “You may have to endorse your policy with rental vehicle coverage, or you may want to take out coverage at the rental vehicle facility.” Whether a rental vehicle is covered can vary from policy to policy, so the only way to know for sure is to call your insurance carrier, read your policy in full, … Read more

Mantras for Getting Out of Debt

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If you can imagine it, you can do it. After all, everything human beings have ever created was first an inkling in someone’s imagination. Here’s the thing though, before you can do anything, you have to believe you can. In other words, the way we think ultimately determines our ability to achieve. This is true for many aspect of our lives, including eliminating debt. With that in mind, repeating these mantras for getting out of debt will help you learn to believe you can live free of debilitating financial obligations. “I Will Stop Borrowing Money.” This one is key. Making a conscious decision to stop financing your lifestyle with borrowed money will help you get rid of debt and stay out of it. This means no more signing up for “hot” credit card deals and no more buying furniture and appliances “on time”. Once you make the decision to live within your means, you’ll find many ways to enjoy a satisfying life without borrowing. “I Will Save at Least $1000 as an Emergency Fund.” We often wind up getting into debt to stave off an unexpected expense, such as a car accident for which we must pay a deductible or … Read more

Is It Enough: How Much Coverage Should You Have for Your Business?

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Even if your business is small, it’s generally recommended that you err on the side of being over-insured. One little gap in coverage can lead to collapse, particularly if you’re the sole owner of your business. If you want to avoid closing for good, the very first step is making sure you have the right amount of business insurance.   How Do You Determine Coverage? Look at the nature of your daily operations. What kind of business are you? If you have a store or restaurant, there are many opportunities for your employees to be injured, whether it’s a burn in the kitchen or a fall on a recently-mopped floor. Do you make or manufacture goods for sale? What would happen if your equipment failed, or you were unable to get the materials necessary to create your finished product? Here’s another place where insurance could be the difference between a major loss and a temporary setback. While it’s crucial to really work to identify every single scenario, which can pose a risk to your business, it’s equally as important to speak to an insurance agent. They’ll be more familiar with the laws where you live, which will tell them where … Read more

A Look at VantageScore and FICO’s Credit Scoring Methods

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When it comes to good personal finance habits, knowing your credit score is key before making any large purchases to avoid high interest rates. There are two main players that lenders use to distribute scores and that’s VantageScore and FICO. Here’s a little background on both. The VantageScore credit scoring model is a collaboration between all three credit reporting agencies (CRA) Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. It’s their attempt at presenting an alternative against the Fair Isaac Corporation’s (FICO) method of determining creditworthiness. FICO’s dominance had run for years (since 1956) and led to FICO’s predictive analytics, introduced in 1989, being the standard lenders used to assess risks associated with specific borrowers. Currently, FICO is still the most widely used method creditors use to assess risk. However, VantageScore is gaining their share of the market. This is especially true thanks to free online credit scoring services like CreditSesame and Quizzle which use the VantageScore 3.0 version to let consumers monitor their progress. Scoring models FICO has its credit scoring models based on credit reports of millions of unspecified consumers obtained independently from each of the CRAs. A separate model is then built for each CRA and this is based on data … Read more

3 Considerations Before Putting Together Your Print Photo Albums

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The rise of social media might lead some to suggest that traditional print photo albums are somewhat unfashionable, but sales figures show that this isn’t the case in the slightest. On the contrary, its items like this which are soaring in popularity, with most people feeling that they make those special occasions feel a little bit more distinctive when they are printed out in a glossy book. At the same time, there are ways and means of putting together these albums. Get it wrong, and you can be left with something which certainly isn’t going to be showcased on the coffee table in front of relatives. Get it right, and every person who steps into your home will be shown it. Bearing the above in mind, let’s now take a look at some of the core considerations you should keep in mind as you plan your first print photo album. What is the size of your photobook? This first point is largely going to depend on the type of photos you are looking to show. For example, if you are looking to bring significant focus to each one, you will probably want the album to just hold one photo per … Read more

With Three Types to Choose from, Which GPS Tracking Device Is Right for You?

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It is now incredibly easy to fine a real time GPS tracking device that can be used to track cars, people, or any other asset. These devices monitor exactly where someone or something is and when. Thanks to the GPS (global positioning system) satellites, exact map coordinates can be found. With advances of technology, different types of GPS tracking devices have now been developed and it is important to recognize their differences in order to find the right one for your needs. GPS Tracking Device #1 – The Data Logger A data logger must be attached to the asset that is tracked. They come with a memory chip onto which data is stored of where the device is and when. To find out the routes taken, the tracker must be removed, after which the data on the chip can be downloaded on a different device. These trackers are common on fleets, with drivers being told to download the data on their chip at the end of their assignments so that they can be better managed. Car hire businesses also use them to ensure they know their vehicles remain within pre-agreed geographical perimeters. GPS Tracking Device #2 – The Data Pusher … Read more