What You Need to Keep in Mind While Ordering Checks Online


For small businesses, the need for paying vendors is a constant one. Most vendors need to get paid using checks. Running out of checks is a common thing when making constant check payments. Banks tend to charge ridiculously exorbitant prices after the first set of checks are over. Some banks may even limit the number of checks that they give their account holders.

What do you do when you run out of checks?

No, you do not have to leave your vendors waiting for their payments. You can find many businesses that print custom business checks. These businesses offer various types of customisable checks to print in bulk. Since there are so many businesses offering the same service here are a few things that you need to keep in mind before placing an order.

Go Online

You do not have to go around town looking for the right business to order from. You can sit behind your desk and check out multiple websites that offer the same service. Ordering business checks online makes the task easier. You can view the different designs and customise your check from the comfort of your office. There are so many websites offering the same service, choosing the right one can take some thinking.

Choose the Right Price

The prices offered by these websites are less than what the bank rates are. This difference makes most businesses choose to check printing services from various businesses. Since there are so many websites and businesses offering similar services, choosing the right one is down to the price they offer. The prices offered by the various businesses are highly competitive. If any website is offering an extremely low price then you should not go for that service. The only way any website can offer starkly different prices is by using cheap quality products. So, do not look for cheap deals when ordering checks online.

Look for Variety

There are a variety of checks that you can get printed. Look for a website that offers the kinds of checks that you need. If you are using QuickBooks then look for websites that offer QuickBooks compatible checks. Make sure you are ordering the right kind of checks or you will end up with a whole bulk of unusable checks. Most websites do offer all kinds of checks that a business might need.

Add Accessories

Apart from checks you need stamps and envelopes to make your check valid. Some websites also offer customised stamps and envelope. Order your checks from a website where you can get these accessories as well.

Speedy Delivery

Delivery time is very important when ordering checks. If you do not get your checks promptly, you will not be able to pay off your vendors. Waiting time can cost your business its reputation. Some websites offer one-day delivery services. Opt for these websites if you are pressed for time. Even if you are in no rush look for websites which deliver the checks fast.

Order your business checks online to save money and time.

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Debit cards have finally outpaced cash usage for the very first time. Here’s what the finance experts are saying.

Debit card payments are now made more frequently than cash payments, as indicated by banking industry figures. UK Finance reports that consumers used their debit cards 13.2 billion times last year and made slightly fewer cash transactions; 13.1 billion times.  

Six years ago experts predicted that by 2032 cash would all but die out; in fact, chief executive of CardSave Clive Kahn believed that only a meagre 10 percent or less of transactions would be made in cash. The projections sounded about right at the time, given the figures from the UK Cards Association. The statistics showed that there were 25% more card transactions in the UK between 2008 and 2011.  

Experts expected debit cards to take over eventually, but it happened a year earlier that thought. There are several reasons why this is the case, including the ever-rising popularity of online shopping, the ease of “tap and go” or “wave and pay” and the fact that smaller businesses are increasingly embracing contactless payments.  

There has also been a good deal of brilliant innovation making life even easier for consumers, such as the B app which helps users tag their spending into different categories for better budget management. With more innovations like this, it’s not difficult to explain why Brits seem eager to join the cashless train. 

A survey found that 36% of people believed that cash would no longer exist by 2025 and 50% believed cash would disappear by 2035. The survey also found that 93% of people went about with a debit or credit card and 74% carried less than £30 at a time.  

While the future may seem bleak for cash, some experts are of the opinion that cash will remain important for a long time to come. Chief executive of UK Finance Stephen Jones believes that the UK is nowhere near “becoming a cash-free society.” 

Gareth Shaw of Which? echoes Jones as he believes that people still need to be able to get the cash they need because cash still has a crucial role to play in the daily lives of UK residents.  

Cash payments may have fallen behind card payments, but only by a slim margin as cash remains the second most popular means of making payments. There’s still a significant number of people who rely mostly on cash for their everyday shopping. Last year, the figure stood at approximately 2.2 million customers and 90% of them had a debit card.  

As for the question of whether the trend can be expected to continue until cash is hardly in use, there are a few factors that could keep cash in the game. In the first half of last year, £5.6m was lost to contactless fraud, which is more than the loss from cheque fraud – £5.3m. Also, a 2017 report by consumer analysts Mintel showed that most Brits aren’t thrilled at the idea of going cashless.  



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Here’s How You Can Be Way Smarter with Your Money

If you want to be way smarter with your money or if you know that you are not entirely happy with the way that you are living right now then it’s important to know that only you can make a change. You are the only person who can turn things around and if you don’t make the effort then you can’t hope to achieve your financial goals for the future.


Be Realistic


It’s important to know that saving doesn’t come easy. It will take a lot of work and a lot of time. You will probably have a lot of debt right now from over the years and this is completely realistic. The main thing that you don’t want to do is think that it is okay for you to take on more debt right now because you know that you will have more money in the future. This is never the case, and if you can’t afford something right now then you probably won’t be able to afford it in the future. By having this mindset, you can be sure to be way smarter with your money and this can make all the difference to the way that you spend and even the way that you save as well.


Spend Less than You Earn


This may sound obvious, but a lot of people don’t do this. You have to make a budget and you

have to sit down and work out how much you earn. When you have this amount, take off the expenses that you have. The money that you have left over can then be used for luxuries, but you have to make sure that this isn’t all being spent. Saving here is a great way for you to achieve financial stability and the main reason for this is because when you do have to spend more than you have coming in, you won’t suffer as a result.


Track Your Spending


You will know how much you spend every single week, but if you have a lot of little expenses coming out here and there then these may slip through the net and this can cause you real issues. Spending less than you earn is a great way for you to really get yourself on the right and there are so many apps that you can use to try and make all of this easier.






If you want to be smart then investing is the way to go. Check out this wealthsimple review if you

want to find out more about that. Of course, when you do start investing, you really need to do it with the money that you have saved every single month. You don’t want to cut into your main budget by investing because this will cause you major issues in the future. You also need to make sure that you don’t overspend either, even if something seems like a sure thing. Little things like this can easily get you into a world of trouble, and you can easily overspend without even realising.

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Smart way of calculating the cost involved in car acquisition and maintenance

Buying a car is a costly affair, but that should not stop people. When a person opts for purchasing a car for their requirements, then the costs associated with keeping that vehicle functional should be known. Some of the costs involved are –

Costs to be covered by using a 

  • Replacing tyers and other parts: In any car, the tyers have to be changed after a certain period. If the tyers are worn out, then there are chances that an accident can happen. The engine and other parts of the car also need to be checked and cleaned at regular intervals so that the vehicle can run smoothly on the road. For doing all the necessary cleanings and replacements, one needs to spend money, and if the repairs are not carried out, then the car won’t be suitable for use.
  • Registering a vehicle: A motor vehicle needs to be registered under an owner and for this purpose you have to pay some fees.
  • Fuel gas: The most important thing without which a car cannot move is fuel. The cost of filling fuel in the car is also to be kept in mind while deciding to procure a vehicle.

Apart from the areas mentioned above of expenditure one still has to pay for keeping a personal vehicle. There are many other situations where an individual has to pay, like unexpected costs due to the damaged to a car. Hence one can frame a budget for using a private vehicle and then add the amount for buffering untoward expenses.

Lease calculators for easy budget framing

The total amount might seem very off-putting and can even discourage a person from buying a car. But in today’s world services exist that help a person to realize their dream and goals. If a vehicle is one of those dreams, then it is quite easy to fix a budget with the help of Novated Lease Calculator.

Calculations are always tricky, and no amount of documentation can make it easy when it comes to getting a vehicle. To keep all these dodgy calculations at bay, the online calculator provided by the service providers who work with car leases can ease the situation. With this method, a person needs to know only one fact, and that is the type of car one wishes to acquire. From the range of vehicles, available one can choose anything that suits their budget. The rest of the part involving the monthly calculations and payments will be done and shown as a result.

However, you must note that this option can be utilized only by people who are working in a registered organization as a member of staff. This lease helps save two things simultaneously one is tax and the other is GST. For those who are not acquainted with the concept of a car lease, it is a form of pre-payment given to the employee by the company from his/her salary to take care of all the costs involved in car procurement and its subsequent maintenance.

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Things to Consider Before Buying and Installing Carports

Many may have to think of an additional carport to their home to house their extra car, boat, or caravan. You can also consider it if you want to add more space to your living area at home. To avoid hassles while installing a carport, it is essential to know a few things. Let’s discuss those.

Whether the local building codes allow installing an extra carport

Before purchasing a carport and installing it, it is essential to check the local ordinances to see if there is any restriction for carports. Some of the local administration have put forth some size restrictions as to how much space should be there between a carport and the home etc. Regulations may change from place to place as if you are living in a city or a rural area.

Are there any underground objects or utility lines?

You have to check it out with the local utility administrators to ensure that there is no gas lines, power lines, or other pipes underneath the area where you are planning to install the carport. Digging at such regions can be dangerous as the installation of carport requires digging in for fixing several posts and anchoring them properly. The septic system also needed to be checked as the weight of cars parked here may damage such systems.

Size of the carport to be installed

If you are planning for installing a carport for vehicles, then it is essential to know the right size for optimum protection. Pay close attention to space between multiple vehicles if you are planning to park more cars. As a rule of thumb, the mid-sized conventional vehicles may fit under the standard 18′ carports, and full-sized vehicles will require 20′- 22′ carports. Measure your vehicles for a carport from side to side, front to back, and top to bottom to plan the size before your order to choose the right sized carport for your purpose.

Is your surface level?

Make sure that you do a thorough check of the area where you are planning to install a new carport. At the first point, make sure that the area is level. Normal Carports Adelaide installations will make your ground 3 to 4 inches out of level. If the surface is found to be more than 4″ out of level, then the legs of the carport may be needed to be resized to level the unit.

Are there any unique features needed based on your local climate?

Different areas of Australia have different weather conditions, and you should plan your carport accordingly. If you are in a location with frequent high winds are prevalent, the carpet needs to withstand it. At places of heavy snowfall, you have to choose carports which may withstand heavy snow loads. Ensure that you discuss all these with the sale executive and ask questions to see what they recommend the best for your climate.

Remember, it is so easy to get carried away while you are eager to get any job done at the earliest. However, there are several things to be considered before you install a carport, so take your time and do a thorough baseline evaluation before making any decision.

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Building Inspection Tips – Working with a New Home Hand-Over Inspection

When the builders complete their construction works, they contact the city administration and have the inspectors run their routine inspections. Once the city approves it, the builder may typical give a chance for you to walk through or do a building inspection on your own. It is the time when you get an opportunity to inspect your future.

Just because the construction passed the initial city inspection, it doesn’t mean everything is perfect. They usually verify that the building is constructed by meeting the code. Typically, the city inspectors may not care for the cosmetic flaws, and they also may not inspect the issues like a leaky faucet or scratch on the floor.

Tips for a successful building inspection

A reliable provider can be approached for a home-owner building inspection to identify the flaws and get it done by the builder to your satisfaction. Here are some essential elements to know while working with a building inspector.

Prepare your list

The builder’s representative or inspector is not sufficiently reliable when you have to make the home inspection checklist. It is always better to prepare your list for inspection. Also, make sure that you get the proof of delivery of the listing to the builder. You can get the assistance of a building inspections Melbourne expert to prepare this checklist to avoid any dispute later.

Ensure that the following items are there is on your list for sure:


  • Inspection of each fixture to ensure proper installation and that there are no broken parts.
  • Turn each light on and off to ensure proper working.
  • Plug in an apparatus to every electrical outlet to make sure it functions.
  • Test the doorbell, two-way switches, and power switches for proper functionality.

Plumbing fixtures

  • Turn on and off all faucets to ensure all works efficiently.
  • Run all plumbing fixture for five to ten minutes, check for any leak at the base, drips through the faucet, or leak through the walls.

Heating and cooling

  • Turn the heater on and listen to its working.
  • Check the air coming out of vents.
  • Check if the convectors or radiators are getting warm during working.
  • Set the thermostat five degrees over room temperature to check its function.
  • Turn the air conditioner on and listen to how it’s working.
  • Check the air quality coming out of the vents.
  • Set the thermostat five degrees below room temperature.

Other significant considerations to make are

Kitchen – Countertops, cabinets, drawers, and other appliances.

Bath – Inspect the bathtub, sink, shower, and toilet.

Windows – Check the glasses for cracks, fast closing and easy opening, hinges, and hardware.

Doors – Easy opening and closing, paint, top and bottom edges lock and unlock.

Walls – Check for the finish and smoothness, drywall, nail heads, and color correction.

Floors – Check for floor moldings, smooth finish, broken or chipped floor tiles.

Decks and porch – Check for the sturdiness, any exposed screws or nails.

Garage – Door opening and closing and the electric light bulb etc.

Along with the interiors, the exterior also needs to be thoroughly inspected well. An ideal checklist is a way to tell the builder what you need to make your home completed before purchase. The help of a skilled and licensed inspector will be handy if you want to do a thorough home inspection check.

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Financial Future: How Can a Loan Affect Your Credit Rating?

Your credit rating is an extremely important part of your financial freedom. Having a good credit score unlocks better deals for you in terms of mortgages, credit cards and loans. You can get better rates and therefore borrow more money, with less interest to pay

Of course your credit is affected by many different factors, and will usually be moving either up or down depending on your financial habits. One of the factors that affects your rating are loans and loan applications.

With more and more people turning to personal loans, it’s important that you understand how a loan can affect your credit rating. Let’s take a look.

The Application Process

Simply applying for a loan is enough to affect your credit score. When you apply for a loan your credit file is accessed and checked by lenders. This is because a small part of your credit score is calculated based on how many credit applications you make. As a loan application is the same as a credit application, your score will take a slight hit when applying.

The bad news is this can mean a bigger hit to your credit score if you try multiple applications in a short time. The reason for this is if lenders see multiple applications in a short time, they will think you’re in a bad financial position and really need the money.

On the other hand, some type of loan applications give you a grace period. During this time you can shop around with other providers without taking any further hits to your credit. These types of loan include auto loans and mortgages, as it’s expected you would want to shop for the best rates in these situations.

Reviewers such as LoanReviewHQ.com can help to provide information on specific lenders for the application process. It’s a good idea to use this information so that you aren’t applying for loans which you won’t get anyway. After all, there’s no point taking a hit on your credit rating for no reason.

Making Payments

Keeping on track with your payments is probably the biggest way to help your credit score. Timely payments will keep the score increasing, whilst late or missed payments will cause it to fall. Missing payments can also lead to a downward spiral as late fees and interest are charged, plus you still have to make up the payment before getting back on schedule with future payments too. This can be a big ask!

Your score might also need you to make a lot of timely payments just to undo the damage of one missed payment.

Loan Balances

The final way a loan hits your credit score is determined by how much you owe. Owing a large balance compared to your income will hit your credit a lot more than owing a small amount. Your debt-to-income ratio needs to be kept as low as possible if you want to help your credit score, so those who are already in debt will have the toughest time getting attractive loan rates.

By combining the above factors you see the most attractive borrowers owe less, have a good payment history, and aren’t too eager to get a loan. This may sound contradictory, yet obviously a borrower with bad history, who owes a lot and is desperate for a loan sounds like a risky proposition for many reasons, so it’s easy to see why these things affect your credit score.

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The cost-effective way of protecting one’s vehicle from harsh weather

An individual always wants to design the best possible house as his/her residence. In life, a person acquires several – some of these are for luxury while others are necessary. A car or personal vehicle is a kind of object that is both viewed as an essential item and as a luxurious one. Depending on the situation its definition as an artifact in one’s life changes but one thing can be said with absolute certainty that it requires a lump sum as an investment. Hence the car that you buy is a valuable item. Thus it should be kept in a place that is secure and suitable. Protecting your car from harsh weather conditions and keeping it in a safe space is crucial for a car owner.

Defining a carport

While many people can opt for building a garage that offers maximum safety when it comes to keeping a car, but it is not always possible to make it due to budget issues. A garage has four walls and the covered ceiling, but in the case of a carport, there is the maximum of two walls. Hence a carport can be defined as a financially suitable structure that is constructed to keep the car protected from rain and snowfall. But as the absence of four walls characterizes it, it is a lighter structure. Also as the car is not inside four walls, it deters the formation of frost especially on the windshield and allows better ventilation. You can even compare it to a shade that offers protection from the elements of nature.

Design of a carport

Being situated in an open space designing the carport properly is important. The location of the carport depends on the central plan of the building. Some carports are constructed as a grand structure at the entrance while others are on the side of the house. The location is therefore wholly dependent on the suitability of the owner of the house. The carports are variously designed and can range from a pure overhead covering to an ornately and elaborately designed structure that project out from the wall of the main building. The choice of design entirely depends on the taste and budget of the person who wishes to build a carport. Carports Adelaide has a variety of designs which can be browsed by interested clients.

The change observed in the usage of carports

The ensuing development has also modified the usage of carports. Initially, people used carports only for keeping cars in a ventilated zone. But with the passage of time temporary carports have been developed that are movable. Even the concept of carports is utilized for creating shades using lightweight metals like tin or aluminum. For awning purposes, the carport structure keeps out direct sunlight or torrential downpour.

Carports are still widely used to keep cars safe from harsh weather. It is quite functional and easy to build because the metals used are not massive but sturdy thus offering considerable protection to vehicles in all types of weather conditions.

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How to Transform Your Bathroom into a Haven of Comfort on a Budget

Remodeling a bathroom is not a project that would be considered cheap. If you do not have a stash somewhere, you will most likely not just wake up one morning and yell out, “Bathroom redecoration!” The cost of the whole project is the first thing on your mind.

Nevertheless, you can save some money and still have the bathroom of your dreams…or close to it. All you need to do is figure out how to cut costs. Take a look at the following tips that will help you along:

  1. Plan

There is almost nothing that can be done without a plan. Always have a plan. For your bathroom project, make a plan in the form of a budget and don’t deviate from it. When you have an idea of how much money you will spend, you will be able to allocate funds to the various aspects of your project. Cover all the details of your project. Avoid using an estimate for the overall cost to avoid any costing shocks when the project is either finished or well underway.

  1. What can you do yourself?

There must be some bits of the remodeling that you can DIY. For instance, mirrors. You cannot have a bathroom without a mirror or three and you can make them. All you need to do is:

  • Buy an industrial-grade mirror from the store.
  • Hang it.
  • Frame it with moldings.

Just like that, you have a mirror at almost no cost! You can even make it to your desired specifications.

  1. Thrift shopping

You can come across items that you can use for other purposes. For instance, a dresser can be turned into shelving or a mirror. Use your creativeness or search for remodeling ideas from the internet. Searching for something like the best bathroom renovation company in the GTA can help you with thrifting ideas.

  1. Paint

Here is something else you can do yourself! Give your bathroom a fresh coat of paint. You do not even have to pay for it. All you have to do is buy the paint you want in the shade you prefer and get down to work. Be sure to follow instructions to the letter so that you do not end up with a ‘botched’ bathroom!

  1. Update your toilet

Most likely your toilet is in good condition and needs no replacing. All you might be required to do is to refresh it. It may be that all you need to do is to replace the lid or seat. You will then save on labor costs as well as the cost of purchasing a new toilet. If you do need a new toilet, however, go for it.

  1. Leave the plumbing be

Most bathroom renovation expenses go to moving the plumbing. We are talking about moving the showers, sinks, and toilets. For one, a professional is needed for the task and professionals don’t come cheap. You will not be able to use your bathroom for days. Unless it is absolutely necessary, let your plumbing stay as it is.

Get as much information as you can from sites that discuss bathroom renovating at length like the best bathroom renovation company in the GTA and others that can even give you hints on the companies to approach for your project needs.

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Protecting Your Pocket: 3 Things to Watch for When Choosing a Medical Insurance Plan


Choosing the right insurance plan for your particular needs can be a bit tricky, especially if you have no idea where to begin. To make things a little easier for you, we’ve put together a short guide on how to choose a medical insurance plan you’re likely going to be satisfied with. So without any further ado, here 3 crucial things to look out for:


  1. Out-of-pocket costs


As you browse medicare plans, they should all list all out of pocket expenses you can expect to incur, and do so in a clear and organized manner. A general rule of thumb is that the higher-end plans demand less out of pocket expenses, while the reverse applies to lower-end plans.


It’s a good idea to go for a higher-end plan if you know you’re going to be visiting a physician often. The same applies if you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic condition or if there is another reason that makes you think you’re going to be needing lots of medical care in the near future (like having a baby or having to undergo a series of surgeries).


  1. The provider network


If you visit a doctor that’s part of the network the insurance deal covers, you’re going to pay less for their services. Of course, you can also visit a doctor that’s not a part of it, but this rarely makes sense due to the increased costs associated with making such a move.


For this reason, if you’ve already chosen a doctor you prefer to be working with, make sure they are a part of the provider’s network. If you don’t have any preferences at the moment, your best bet is to go for the largest network; that way, more of the options will remain open to you. The proximity of the doctor in question is also something to factor into consideration.


  1. The benefits


This is probably the final step that will help you determine the best provider. The benefits that you’re going to get with them will help tip the scale in either one or the other direction.


Just ask yourself the following question: what would you benefit from the most? Free physical therapy sessions or mental health care? And if you can’t decide and are in need of both, the costs of which one would you rather cover on your own?


The good news is that you don’t have to make the conclusion yourself. If you call them and explain your situation, they are likely to give you some great advice and help you choose the best medical insurance plan for your needs. If you’re thinking about going in this direction, it’s a good idea to prepare your questions in advance.




Based on the considerations outlined above, you should now be able to make a good choice, especially if you’ve taken the extra time to make an in-depth research into the provider you’re considering. You should take as long as you believe is needed; after all, an insurance plan is a hefty financial investment, so it’s important to get it right from the get go to avoid trouble later on.

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Frugal Computing: The Complete Guide on How to Choose the Best Cheap Tablet Computer

When it’s time for a new tablet computer, whether you are replacing an old version or diving into tablet computers for the first time, chances are you want to find the best deal. If you are working with a tight budget, it pays to do your homework before you make a purchase. Here are four steps to choosing the best cheap tablet computer:


  1. Decide what features you can live without.


Today’s tablet computers can do so many things—from touch-screen note taking to face recognition. There is no way to get a cheap tablet computer that can do everything, but you can get what you need as long as you prioritize.

  • Do you need both a rear- and front-facing camera? Some tablets have better camera options than others. If you won’t be using your tablet computer for serious photography, however, there is no reason to pay extra for a fancy camera.
  • What about full-day battery life? How long do you need your tablet to work between charges?
  • Do you prefer a tablet that also comes with a keyboard?
  • What size screen do you need? You can save hundreds of dollars by purchasing a slightly smaller tablet. A smaller tablet has the advantage of being more portable than a full-sized option as well.

While you won’t find a cheap tablet computer that has all the top features, you should be able to find some. Picking what you need most will help you narrow down your choices and get the best tablet for your situation.


  1. Don’t limit yourself to one particular brand


One of the worst things you can do when shopping for a tablet on a budget is to look at only one brand. Many more companies offer tablet computers now than ever before. Rather than comparing models of just one brand name, be sure to look at lesser known companies and styles as well. You might just find a great tablet computer at the perfect price.


  1. Try before you buy


Narrow down the choices to your top 2-3 options and then find a way to try out each tablet computer style before making a final decision. Finding a tablet that is easy for you to use is just as important as any particular feature or program.  Holding and operating your top tablet choices will help you decide which is the best for your needs.


  1. Look for a sale


If you have time to wait, the best time of year to purchase electronics is usually in late November or early December because many businesses have incredible holiday sales on expensive electronics. Even if you don’t want to wait for the end of the year before making a purchase, you can still save up to 10% of the purchase price by shopping around. When comparing prices, also look at benefits like warranties and drop protection that might not be included in the base price. You might end up with a better deal even if you don’t go with the very cheapest tablet computer by finding a company willing to throw in some extra benefits or accessories.


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Fixing the mess: How do you choose a debt relief plan

The financial strain that you may feel when carrying high debt balances can be intense. In addition to worrying about how you will manage to reduce the debt in a reasonable period of time, you may also be struggling to make ends meet partially because of the high monthly debt payments. Saving money regularly may seem like an impossible dream at this point. You need to find a debt relief solution that will work for you so that you can get back on track, but remember that each financial situation is unique. There is not a catch-all debt relief plan that works for everyone. When you are preparing to create your debt relief plan that is customized specifically to benefit you, focus your attention on these important steps to get started.


Understand Your Monthly Financial Abilities

Through the process of debt relief, you will essentially transfer debt from high interest rate accounts to one or more accounts with a lower interest rate. In some cases, the new account will have a fixed term as well. A fixed term with a lower interest rate enables faster debt reduction and establishes a firm debt elimination date, so this may be the best option for many people to consider when creating a debt relief plan. Because you are setting up your debts on one or more new accounts, you need to understand what your financial abilities are each month. Consider what monthly debt payment you can comfortably afford to make. Ideally, this new payment will be low enough to decrease your financial stress and to help you to manage your expenses comfortably. However, it will not be so low that it takes an unnecessarily long period of time to eliminate outstanding balances.


List the Accounts to Include in a Debt Relief Plan

After you have determined an affordable monthly payment for the new debt account that you can manage well, you need to review the accounts that you want to include in your debt relief plan. In some cases, it may not be advisable to roll accounts that have a very low outstanding balance or a reasonable interest rate into the plan. List all outstanding balances, monthly payments and current interest rates so that you can make an informed decision. If you can reasonably pay a debt off within a short period of time in its current arrangement, it may not be necessary or advisable to roll it into your debt relief plan. Consider closing most or all debt accounts after transferring balances.


Improve Your Budgeting and Financial Management Efforts

Through the creation of a customized debt relief plan, you can decrease a substantial amount of financial stress, but this is not a stopping point. Many people who have high debt balances have at least one poor money management habit that has contributed to the debt problem. Take a closer look at your budget, and look for ways to scale back so that you can live more comfortably on less money. Analyze your savings habits and the amount of money in your savings account. Make a regular effort to contribute at least a small amount of money to this account regularly. Try to save for large purchases rather than enjoy instant gratification by charging the expenses to a credit card.


Your finances may currently be a mess, but it is never too late to clean house. Establishing your debts on a debt relief plan is a great starting point, and this step can provide immediate stress relief. However, you also need to take additional steps to improve your finances so that you do not continue to accumulate debt going forward.

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Frugal Lifestyle: 5 Ways of Saving Money When Living on a Shoestring Budget

It would be great if we had all the money we wanted but for many of us, it’s hard to make ends meet. Bills need to be paid each month, we need to eat, and cars need gas. Then we need to save a little something each month for either long-term goals or emergencies. You know emergencies tend to pop up when we can least afford them. Thankfully, there are ways to save even when you don’t make a lot. Here are five.

Keep your pocket change.

Those nickels and dimes that you typically cast aside can add up to a lot if you store them. Put them in a clear container so you can watch your savings grow. It helps if you set a savings target or particular purpose for the funds. When you can, throw in a small bill to further boost your bounty.

Buy second-hand.

Whatever you need, there’s probably an almost new or gently used version out there for sale. From major purchases like cars to clothing and house décor, you can save a lot if you don’t insist on only having brand new items. Flea markets, garage sales, car boot sales and thrift and consignment stores are all places to look. Just be sure to examine the items carefully to be sure they are indeed worth it.

Grow your own food.

Food is, of course, one of the major expenses for most people. Try to grow as much of what you eat as you can. If you don’t have access to a large plot of land, look for ways to use pots, vertical gardens or even window spaces to grow vegetables.  The only thing limiting you is your imagination. You can also rope a few of your neighbors into starting a community garden for a wider range of crops and some help with planting, watering, and reaping.

Monitor how much you spend on the little things.

When confronted with a necessary major expense, you may be tempted to find an instant loan. This can give you a quick cash injection but its’ often at a high interest rate. If it’s not a genuine emergency, you may be better off monitoring your spending and cutting back on unnecessary purchases. Do you drive or pay to take public transportation when you can walk instead? How much do you spend on candy, or lottery tickets? All these little $1 purchases add up.

Carefully assess your energy and utility costs.

Leaking pipes and faucets, inadequate insulation and old appliances can all be costing you more than they should. Have a professional visit your home to ensure that you aren’t spending more on utilizes and energy because of inefficiency. Turn off your lights when you’re not using them and unplug appliances since even small bits of energy usage accumulate. Make sure all members of your family are on board.

It can seem almost impossible to save when your budget is tight. The good news is that you can still put something aside if you think creatively and commit to the task. If you have a family, bringing everyone on board makes it even easier to achieve your savings goals.



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Funding the Future: 5 Reasons a Specialized Fannie Mae Mortgage May be the Best Choice for Your Family

The number of new home buyers dropped precipitously in the late 2000s. That was about the time the housing bubble burst. Moreover, many mortgage companies took advantage of first-time homebuyers, so these families left the market in droves.


But today, the number of first-time homebuyers is rising again. These buyers account for over a third of the market.


Statistically, first-time homebuyers have a much lower income than repeat buyers. So, a home purchase is a much greater financial commitment. Moreover, first-time buyers are much younger than repeat buyers, so they may be less sophisticated real estate customers.


The Fannie Mae HomePath program may be a very good option for first-time buyers. There are some drawbacks to this program, such as a purchase mortgage insurance requirement and interest rates slightly above market levels. But in exchange, homebuyers get a wealth of benefits.


Lower Priced Homes


Fannie Mae’s HomePath inventory consists largely of post-foreclosure homes. As a result, Fannie Mae is not really looking to make money on the mortgage. Instead, the company usually just wants to reduce the previous owner’s debt. That sometimes means a starter-home price for a mid-sized value property.


The money you save on the purchase price almost always offsets the slightly higher rate. In other words, a HomePath property means more home for your money.


Lower Down Payment


HomePath loans usually have a 3 percent down payment. That’s even lower than FHA. For families that struggle to save money leading up to a home purchase, the low down payment is an extremely attractive feature.


Moreover, Fannie Mae is more lenient in terms of the down payment’s source. In most traditional mortgages, the company insists that the buyer provide all the down payment funds. But in a HomePath purchase, the down payment funds can be a gift or an inheritance.


Variable Income Allowance


These more flexible income rules extend to other parts of the qualification process. Some mortgage companies do not include items like renters or boarders. In many cases, the extra few hundred dollars a month can be the difference between getting the loan or being denied.


HomePath accepts these types of income, as well as other types of non-traditional income. Since the house is a post-foreclosure, the bank needs someone in it in a hurry. So, the bank is willing to bend some of the rules.


Seller Contributions


Fannie Mae is a motivated seller with regard to HomePath properties. Usually, buyers must pay all closing costs, and that cost sharing arrangement is completely non-negotiable. But the motivation once again helps buyers.


In a HomePath purchase, the buyer can contribute up to 6 percent of your inspection fees, title insurance, loan origination fees, and other miscellaneous expenses. That can mean thousands of dollars.


Investment Property


Many other mortgage banks offer similar programs which connect first-time homebuyers with post-foreclosure properties. One big difference is that other banks limit these initiatives to people who will use the property as a primary residence.


But at Fannie Mae, the HomePath incentives are available to buyers who will use the house as an investment property. You may be paying less, but you can still charge market rental rates. That means higher profits.


To take advantage of this program before Fannie Mae ends it, reach out to a provider today.



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3 Areas Of Family Life You Can Save Money On

Families today are often living more frugally than they would like. Bills are creeping up and wages are stagnating, so savvy families are making a point of trying to save as much money as possible in different areas of their lives. Truthfully, there are plenty of places money can be saved. You can save money in pretty much every way in your household, from how much you spend on insurance to the amount of money that you spend on appliances and household goods.

The question that you have to ask yourself in times of frugality is where you want to save the most. Are you looking to save for an emergency fund? Are you looking to scrape together the cash for a deposit on a house? Whatever your reasons for making savings, you need to look at your budget and see where you can slash costs the easiest. Once you’ve done that, you can make savings that you simply didn’t expect to make. So, which are the three biggest areas of family life that you can save some cash?


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Groceries. Food shopping is going up in cost every day. With farmers needing more cash to pay suppliers, products are becoming more expensive and so supermarkets have to charge more. To slash your shopping budget, look at switching brands and buying less than you currently do to stop overeating. Buy only what you need, and you can do this by creating a weekly menu and sticking to it. You can also cut out junk food, which can add to your grocery costs and isn’t a necessity.

Driving. It’s all well and good for anyone to suggest that you give up your car and use public transport, but buses and trains can be very expensive to take – especially if you would need them to commute to work twice a day. Walking is great for your health, but it’s not always practical when you have to go long distances. You could also look into the benefits of Dodge Ram extended warranty while you look at your insurance costs. Slashing the costs of your insurance can help you save money on your overall car expenses, so it should be a priority for you.

Utilities. Running a family home, with lights, internet, appliances and extra televisions in the house, can be expensive. Speaking to your utility providers and trying to haggle discounts is the best route to go down, as you can make decent savings with each of your bills. A family home

is a big expense, so look at reducing the number of baths taken and swap to showers and look at putting a timer on the televisions in the home so that no one is sat up all night watching television.

Saving money is the aim of the game and you can utilise many strategies to implement good savings practices in your family. Swapping your yearly vacation for a cheaper camping trip is another option, but if you make enough savings elsewhere you can afford to go on your break!

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