Monday, September 30, 2013

Wealth and Wellness: Why Health Matters!

“Man, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money, then sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then, he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.” –Dalai Lama

Wealth

Not only are we the culprits of our own happiness, but we are also responsible for what we become or what we have to endure in the future. Even though surviving everyday life may be a hard task, there are much more things that we need more than consider to live a happy and fulfilled life, and one is our attitude towards working and our disregard for our health.

Health is Forever Wealth

Most people tend to abuse themselves and work for longer hours daily just to earn more and save more, and if you are one of them, it’s time that you change this attitude that will sooner or later be a cause for you to be more vulnerable to diseases. Nobody wants to suffer from cancer or any of those malignant and crippling disabilities, and you don’t want to be a victim of this. Not only will you be rubbed off from a normal life, but all of your savings will also melt like gold once you contract these diseases.

Stay Healthy and Save a Penny

The best thing for you to do to save your wealth and yourself is to stick to a healthy diet. Instead of buying food at fast food chains which is more likely filled with MSG, it is best that you prepare food for yourself. Not only will you be able to cut down your expenses for all the extra costs these outlets add per meal, but you can be assured that you are eating healthy and you would avoid extra expenses from hospitalization. Also, avoiding vices and keeping fit will promote health and wellness, and you may already be aware of this. Remember that what you put inside your body will radiate on the outside, and sadly, on your pocket and bank account as well.

Optimize and Secure Your Health and Wealth

You are not forever young and strong, and the sooner you realize that, the better. A health insurance will definitely aid you in your hospitalization costs just in case someone punches you in the nose or you suffer from a mysterious fever. The cost for a check-up is rather very debilitating on your bank account, and for you to not face the consequences of not getting insurance, sign up now and get insured! Accidents will always happen and since you don’t really want to pay for all the hospital fees which are a complete headache by the way, let the insurance take care of it.

Protect your health and your wealth will be safeguarded. It is always best to invest on what really matters than be sorry later.

Sarah Del Rosario is a finance blogger from debt-settlement-review.toptenreviews.com, reliable site offering useful tips about debt settlement.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

What will Happen to me After I File Bankruptcy?

People regularly ask bankruptcy solicitors how their life will be affected after filing for bankruptcy. This can help them understand the positives and negatives of doing so and enable them to make a fully-informed decision.
Bankruptcy

Employment

While most people can continue in their employment without any problems, you will need to ask for court permission and tell the Official Receiver if you want to take part in the management, creation or promotion of a company, or if you are the director of a company.
Some organisations may deem you are no longer eligible to work for them or remain a member of them after filing bankruptcy. You will also be unable to work as an insolvency practitioner. If you work in a company under a different name to the one you filed bankruptcy as, you will have to tell your business clients that you have filed bankruptcy.

Credit and banking

Bankrupt people cannot ask anyone for more than £500 in credit without stating that they are bankrupt. You will have to hand the Official Receiver any documentation relating to your debts and assets, and will no longer be able to use credit cards, bank accounts or building society accounts.

You will still be liable for debts you incurred after becoming bankrupt and any debts that are included in your bankruptcy. There are a number of different debts that you will still be liable for after filing bankruptcy, including many court fines, court orders and student loans. If you have been told to pay personal injury compensation, if you have debts caused by breach of trust or fraud, or if you must pay money in family proceedings, you will not be released from these debts following the bankruptcy discharge.

Your bank account will be automatically frozen by your bank and tell the Official Receiver about the money within the account. If it is determined that you need this money for living expenses, you will be allowed to retain it. The bank will decide whether or not you can continue to use your bank account.

Losing your assets

When you file for bankruptcy, your assets will be transferred to your trustee, and you will be unable to dispose of them. This also applies to any assets you purchase before the discharge from bankruptcy. You will likely be able to keep basic household essentials and any equipment you require for your employment.

If you live in rented accommodation, your landlord will not necessarily be told about your bankruptcy, unless you are in arrears. However, you will have to show the Official Receiver your tenancy agreement, and if the tenancy is not secure, protected or assured, your landlord will likely be contacted.
Bankruptcy solicitors can provide you with help and legal advice to ensure that you do not face any unnecessary problems as a result of your bankruptcy. Laws relating to bankruptcy change regularly, and using solicitors can ensure you meet your obligations and that your bankruptcy goes off without a hitch.

Daniel Gellar works with bankruptcy solicitors in Preston and accident at work compensation claim to guide people through the difficult and challenging process of a bankruptcy, helping people cope with difficult debt without any unnecessary hassle. She loves travelling around the North West, and her favourite places to walk around are the mountains of the Lake District.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

European vs. US Merchant Accounts

American banks were the first in world to offer credit cards and start credit card processing services. Initially, however, they provided this facility to only supermarkets and big stores only. Later, when online shopping boomed, American credit card processing banks began providing e-commerce merchant services to product/service companies that operated on the internet. This is precisely the reason why the US has been the hub of internet credit card processing for quite some time now.

Merchant Accounts

Prices weren’t all that competitive and terms, especially for beginners, were rigid. All this changed as European e-Commerce low and high risk merchant account services became available. This was when e-Commerce merchants didn’t necessarily had to be American citizens to have a gateway for credit card processing. Also, E-Commerce credit card processing was opened for the rest of the world, without having to follow harsh terms and conditions set by some high risk credit card processors.

Currently, every e-Commerce merchant is free to get either a European merchant account or a US one. Let’s carry out a fair comparative study to tell apart European and US merchant accounts:

Merchant Account Accessibility

It is not that easy to get a USmerchant account. The banks follow a lengthy process of research and validation before providing a gateway. Though there are freely accessible online low and high risk credit card processing solutions there for both US and non-US merchants, the services nonetheless remain expensive.

It is imperative for a merchant’s business to maintain a fixed-minimum number of sales and transactions on a monthly basis. Moreover, most American banks don’t offer credit card processing services and gateways to international e-commerce merchants. Comparatively, European merchant accounts have more flexible terms and conditions. They are always ready to work with international e-commerce merchants. But, European banks have limitations too; they need to follow the usual procedure of approval for security reasons before providing gateways to anyone. Even terminated online merchants can get European merchant accounts without having to worry about their credit card history.

Merchant Account Prices

The difference between the process of US merchant accounts and European merchant accounts is considerable. Since US merchant accounts are always in high competition among all the banks, they are comparatively cheaper than European ones.

But, there is no such competition among European banks and this is why the European low and high risk merchant accounts are slightly costlier. European banks have so far been able to stay calm and steady as they service the whole world. Opposite to that, US banks will cover the United States of America only. But, there are some European banks providing merchant account services at lower costs than average US banks; it’s an exception.

Merchant Account Service Quality

Quality of service is not at all an issue with either of the two service providers. There are good banks in both Europe and US that offer quality credit card services. Though factors such as approval duration, safety and consistency would vary from bank to bank (both in the US and Europe), the services of the two providers are equally commendable.

The Final Word

It can be concluded that European merchant account services have got a slight edge over that of US. European banks are readily available anywhere in the world, and many US e-Commerce banks need to take help from European services as it is harder to find a local US credit card processing service provider. European merchant accounts are truly an international, for low or high risk merchants from any country can apply for them.

Author Bio:- Amslv.com provides high risk merchant account solutions to a wide range of e-commerce and mail order/telephone order merchants. We offer fast and easy approvals for bad credit merchant processing accounts and ACH.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

What You Need to Know About Deducting Business Use of Your Car

While you may drive your car or truck year round without giving it much thought, when tax season rolls around, as it does each year, the vehicle you use for business can and should be a substantial tax deduction. Whether you use your car strictly for business or a combination of business and personal use, you need to know a few basic rules before you take your yearly deduction.

Small Business

The Small Business Owner

There are two different ways to calculate your automobile expense; the actual expense method the standard mileage rate. Before you select either method, first you need to take into consideration whether you use your vehicle only for business or a combination of personal and business use. While many larger companies have cars that are specifically used only for business, the small business owner typically uses their vehicle for both personal and business needs.

The Expense Method

Using the expense method, if your car is business only, you may deduct the entire cost of operating your vehicle for the year. These costs include: insurance, gas, oil, tires, repairs, registration fees, licenses, depreciation or lease payments. If you use the car for personal use as well, then all costs will need to be prorated by determining the percent of time the vehicle is used for business purposes. For example, if you use your truck 65% of the time for business and 35% of the time for personal use, take the total expense times 65% to determine your deduction for the year.

The Standard Mileage Rate

To use the standard mileage rate, you will need to either own or lease the vehicle. Also, it cannot be used to transport people such as you would with a taxi or transportation van. With this method, keeping records of the miles driven is of upmost importance. If you use the car for personal and business use, you will want to track, in a notebook or software program, beginning miles and ending miles for each business trip regardless of how long or short it is. At the end of the year, these miles will be totaled. It is also a good idea to keep a record of the starting odometer reading on January 1st and again on December 31st.
Since January 1, 2013 – the following rates apply for the standard mileage deduction.
  • 56.5 cents per mile for business miles driven.
  • 24 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes.
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.
Simply take your total business miles times the appropriate rate to determine your deduction.

Hybrid Vehicles

The IRS also allows deductions for hybrid vehicles that meet certain qualifications. The hybrid car must be powered by both a rechargeable battery and internal combustion engine. This deduction also only applies to the original owner of the vehicle, so if you have purchased a hybrid second-hand, you will not qualify.

Conclusion

The IRS provides a generous deduction for a business vehicle regardless of which method you select. Calculate your costs both ways to determine which method is best for you. Just don’t forget to take full advantage it.

About The Author: E.J. Dealy is CEO of The Company Corporation, which helps small business owners and entrepreneurs nationwide form business entities such as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), S-Corporation, or C-Corporation. The Company Corporation does not provide legal, financial, or tax advice.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tips on How to Have A Successful Business

Let’s say you woke up one day and decided to create your business called, let’s say 02 telephone’ probably providing phone systems to corporate firms; or maybe something simpler, selling your wares in a department store.

What exactly would it take to achieve success in said business? This should be the question on the lips of the several individuals choosing to strike out on their own each year; the fact is succeeding in business is more than sighing a few papers and acquiring a license.

Small Business

Success in business starts within oneself. Before you can grow your business you need to be a successful entrepreneur, an individual with the following qualities:
  • Attitude - Because attitude affects all aspects of our lives it is important that one maintain a positive attitude in accepting the responsibilities at hand.
  • Passion - Saying that you are going to be an entrepreneur isn’t enough; you need to know what your passions and interests are before hand and they should drive your steps forward.
  • Discipline - Considerable work and effort goes into succeeding in a business and it will require discipline to stay the course despite the challenges that will arise in due time.
  • Flexibility - Managing a business can prove to be complex especially in a changing society such as is prevailing at the present; it takes a flexible entrepreneur to adapt to changing circumstances, navigate hardships and collect the prize at the end.
There are several styles of management you could choose from to achieve success in your endeavors. Whichever course of action you choose though the following tips will prove useful in any case:
  • Planning - Think ahead; it is fairly common for business owners to get so overwhelmed with the day to day activities of the business that they will forget to look to the future and operate in accordance with what will come rather than what is prevailing. Simply put, have some long term goals
  • Action - It pays to take action. Procrastination is a dangerous tool that will poison any dreams you might have for the future if you allow it. If you wish to follow your dream, pursue your passion in business, then get up and do so, continuously assessing your own progress with the passing of time to ensure that you are meeting your set goals.
  • Use social media - It isn’t really about using social media but simply making an effort to socialize. There are few that can deny the benefits one will reap from crafting a powerful network from which they can draw resources, both physically and mentally in times of need. It is even harder to deny the ease with which one can achieve social networking through social media.
  • Divide your work- it can be easy for business owners to lose themselves to the business, working so hard that they quickly burn out; find help and delegate some of the work to other individuals, which will not only alleviate your stress but remove the bottleneck in your company.
Starting a business is no easy feat but with the right knowledge and tools anyone can successfully give it a go.

Author Bio: Laura Benson is a content writer. Her interests are mainly in Finance, Health, Education, and Business. As of now she is doing research on DWP.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Benefits of a Small Business Guarantor Loan

Looking for a change of career? Thinking of starting your own business? This could be a very exciting time but what do you do if you don’t have the initial capital to get things off the ground? 

A recent report has indicated that currently, on average micro-businesses need approximately £2000 to set up. Whilst this may not sound like an unreasonable amount in the grand scheme of things, finding the money can prove to be a tricky task for some people.

Small Business

When starting up a business, limited funds can prove to a hurdle which can prove to be extremely difficult to overcome. Whether you are simply starting a small business, or have just started and are in the development stage, working capital is crucial.

Common start-up needs include:

  • Establish Brand
  • Purchase Real Estate
  • Purchase Equipment
  • Purchase Stock
  • Increase Working Capital
If you do not currently have the requisite finance readily available, where do you find the capital? You can try borrowing capital from a High Street lender. Lenders are currently offering business loans with low interest rates but to stand any chance of successfully applying for a business loan, it is essential that you submit all of the required documents and you must have a good credit record.
Having someone who is willing to act as a guarantor with you will assist you in accessing the money desired.

Any business owner can potentially obtain a small business guarantor loan. Guarantor loans are a form of unsecured/personal loan and although these loans have actually been around for a significant period of time, their popularity has increased since the credit crunch began to bite.

Normal high street lenders have become highly risk averse and as such are only likely to lend to customers who possess a good credit score and a good credit history. However, as we all know, the current economic climate has not proven to be conducive for maintaining these credit scores for many people and a huge number of people now have blemishes on their credit files.

Key Facts About a Guarantor Loan

  • Guarantor loans are unsecured – this ensures that you will not risk of losing any of your possessions (i.e. house, car, jewellery, etc) if you fail to make repayments.
  • No credit score involved - the lender does not judge your application based on your credit history.
  • Implementation of guarantor - someone who trusts and will support you, will be put in place to step in to pick up payments if you fall into difficulty.
  • Flexible repayment terms – generally, interest is calculated on a daily basis and there are no early repayment fees. Therefore the possibility exists to reduce the total cost of your loan by repaying it as quickly as possible.
  • Flexible loan amounts - smaller loans ranging from £50 up to £500 can be obtained within 1 hour; larger sums of up to £7500 can be obtained as quickly as 24 hours (though these times are more feasible if you already have your guarantor lined up when you apply).

The Guarantor

  • Has a good credit history (no missed mortgage payments or CCJ's)
  • Must be between 23 to 70 years old
  • Must be in receipt of regular income
  • Must be a homeowner (For loans up to £7500)
It’s vital that new business owners in need of a financial boost understand that being turned down by a bank is not the end and it certainly doesn’t mean they should run straight to the nearest payday lender.

Whilst there is still a lack of awareness about alternative lenders, businesses need to do a bit of digging around for an alternative lender who will support their business venture and guarantor loan lenders may very well offer the ideal option.

Bio – Amanda Gillam: I work as a blog writer for a finance company called Solution Loans which specialises in Guarantor Loans. I hold a degree in financial management and enjoy writing about a variety of topics including finance, transport, travel, sport and business.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

How Do the Consequences of Bankruptcy Alternatives Compare?

There are two broad categories which can be used to classify Bankruptcy alternatives. The first is an informal and the second is a formal course of action. The difference is that informal actions are something that is done early in the process where negotiations can still be conducted between the parties. Formal alternatives are usually a little more involved and include some form of third-party involvement.

Bankruptcy

I. Informal Bankruptcy Alternatives

Sell Assets

The idea behind selling one's assets is to be able to raise enough cash to settle any outstanding obligations. This is one of the fastest and best ways to handle an outstanding debt.

Consolidate Debts

Often times having too many debts from too many vendors can confuse the issue. In this case one way to organize everything and possibly reduce the average interest rate is to consolidate all the liabilities.

Government Repayment Assistance Plan

If the problem is with a student loan, and this is what is causing bankruptcy to be imminent, then the Canadian government has the Repayment Assistance Plan (RAP) and it is available to borrowers who have a problem with repaying the student loan.

The consequences of informal bankruptcy alternatives is that the person is left to manage his or her own affairs and can get out from the predicament without any lasting blemish on their name.

II. Formal Bankruptcy Alternatives

When the informal measures don't work, then it is best to be a little more aggressive and to proactively look at the formal alternatives.

Consolidation Order

Canadians who reside in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia there is an alternative to bankruptcy called the Consolidation Order. In this situation the court consolidates all debts into one and the debtor then makes payment to the court on a predetermined schedule.

Consumer Proposal

The CP is formal procedure governed by Canada's Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act for those who have less than a quarter of a million in outstanding debt. A trustee is used to collect payments from the debtor and distribute it among al the listed creditors.

Division I Proposal

This is another procedure within the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act. This relief is available to both businesses as well as individuals regardless of the outstanding amount. As with the CP, this procedure also uses a trustee to disburse payments.

With these six avenues between formal and informal it is possible for an individual, family or small business to avoid bankruptcy. These alternative have the consequences that avoid tarnishing one's name and loosing every item of possession.

About Author: Ken Rowan & Associates Inc. provides advice on debt consolidation, credit counselling, proposals to creditors, and bankruptcy help across Burnaby and South Surrey, Canada.

Top Home Buying Mistakes

It is surprising that despite it being the most important investment of their lifetime, people still commit serious, sometimes stupid home buying mistakes. On most of the occasions these gaffes can be avoided by being more careful and knowledgeable. If you are also thinking of fulfilling your lifelong dream of buying a house here are some mistakes that you shouldn’t commit at any cost. After all a house is the most valuable investment you will ever own.

Property Buying

Poor research

Before plunging into house hunt it is essential you know your family’s needs and limitations. Understand your finances and avoid wasting time looking at houses which you wouldn’t be able to pay for out of your pocket. Do not fall in love with a house at the first site and make a decision in haste. Make sure that you know the neighborhood where the house is located. A bad neighborhood will make your deal as good as dead. You surely do not want to invest your money in a crime infested region.

Rogue real estate agent or no real estate agent

You will be making your home buying process a whole lot more difficult by choosing a bad real estate agent. However, it is even worse to go house hunting all by your own without any real estate agent by your side. If you have someone with the knowledge of how things work in real estate buying or selling, chances are less that you will be taken for a ride. While buying the house you want an agent who understands your preferences, and works for your best interests rather than working for the seller’s side. You can ask your friends to refer someone who they have dealt with earlier and trust. The final step before hiring an agent is interviewing at least a couple of them.

Letting your emotions betray you

It is a sin to show your love for the property before the deal is signed. Even if you think that your house is a steal of a deal, do not let it expressed in your actions or words in front of the seller or seller’s agent. If the seller finds out that you are already swept over by the property he will decidedly play the cards to his advantage, quoting a higher price that he ideally would have.

Overestimating your budget

Setting the right budget is elementary to your peaceful stay at the house. For, if you buy a house that is way beyond your budget then you will live the rest of your life struggling hard to pay for other expenses such your kids education or your retirement plans. If you think financing your purchase by a bank will keep everything under control, then you might be in for a rude shock when mortgages will suck the life out of your monthly spending. Therefore, keep in mind your existing monthly expense and then only decide how much you can afford to mortgage. To make it easier for you, experts have come up with a mathematical figure. Your total monthly debts, (including mortgage) shouldn’t exceed 36 percent of your income.(excluding taxes)

Forgetting to Inspect

Buying a foreclosure? It is highly recommended that you inspect the property along with a construction expert. The discounted price of the property will tempt you to sign the deal as soon as possible, but a little more consideration after a physical inspection of the property might reveal the true reason behind the discounts; property’s dilapidated condition.

If you are able to keep yourself from committing these five mistakes, home buying could actually turn out as a good experience for you.

Saurabh Tyagi has a penchant for writing, which he discovered early on in life. He likes to put pen to paper every now and then for topics such as property in zirakpur, serviced apartments for sale and commercial real estate property. . Currently he writes on behalf of a leading real estate site.