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Great Tips and Advice for Managing Your Money

house flipping Loans jpgHouse flipping has never been hotter. If you've been thinking of getting into flipping houses in retirement, there are some key points you should know to help your venture be a successful one.

if you’re thinking about making some money with house flipping, check out these tips:

  1. Find Quality Properties

Flipping houses is about making money, so finding the right properties is imperative. You want something in a good neighborhood that is close to schools and has a low crime rate. Consider areas that are up-and-coming but are not the priciest locales so that you won't have to pay steep taxes for the period that you own the home.

Experienced home buyers know to avoid homes with serious issues, such as cracks in the foundation, plumbing problems, electrical issues or widespread mold. A lack of adequate bathrooms is also a deal breaker for many homebuyers. For a small home, one to one-and-a-half bathrooms may be fine, but for bigger homes, more bathrooms are necessary if prospective homebuyers are going to even consider looking at the property.

Find properties that have good bones but could benefit from some updating. Things like fresh paint, new flooring, modern appliances and hardware, and refreshing landscaping can make big differences, and as Cheatsheet points out, these upgrades come with low costs.

  1. Finance Intelligently

If you have the money to purchase homes to flip outright, you can. There are benefits to having that kind of cash when flipping houses since many that can be bought for cheap in auctions require cash. If you don't have your own funding, though, getting a loan is an option.

Using hard money. Hard money loans are more costly than traditional loans, but they have their perks. They aren't based on the borrower's ability to pay back the loan or credit history. Instead, the loan is based on the collateral the loan is being used for.

Because hard money loans don't have the requirements typical to traditional home loans, they can be used for homes in disrepair. You can borrow the amount that the home is estimated to be worth once you've flipped it, so you have money to complete the repairs you need. They also are speedier than a conventional loan since there is less red tape. This is especially important because the longer you pay on the loan, the less money you earn on your flip.

  1. Know When to Outsource

Finishing the project as quickly as possible is vital to making money flipping houses, so learning to outsource when it's beneficial is vital to your success. This means engaging professionals to complete work that you aren't entirely sure how to do well yourself. It may seem costly in the short term, but if it saves you time and gets the project done in a professional manner, it is worth it to make the investment. Furthermore, Bob Vila notes that if you want to make flipping houses a business, there are often repairs beyond your expertise. Plus, you won't be able to complete all of the repairs yourself simply because the time won't be there.

Outsourcing isn't limited to home repairs and landscaping, though. If you are using contractors and other employees, you'll need to set up payroll for them. Luckily, there are online services that can take on the burden of payroll for you. Research options to see one is right for you, paying special attention to perks that might be beneficial to your business, such as direct deposit options and automated taxes. Some payroll services even allow you to set payroll to run automatically, so your workers never miss another payday. This will keep contractors feeling motivated to get the job done.

Flipping houses can be a lucrative and satisfying business to be in. Find the right properties, fund them wisely, and know when to delegate to other professionals; you'll be a successful flipper in no time.

Blog writen by Emma Grace Brown

 

Using credit cards have added a level of convenience that many fail to appreciate.  Would you rather have to carry $300.00 in cash to purchase that new lawnmower or just carry a small plastic card in your wallet?  Now we don’t even have to carry the plastic and can pay with through an IPhone.  One downside to this convenience is the likelihood of getting into too much debt.  Getting too many credit cards can become an invisible way of getting into debt.  Whereas when people needed to pay cash, they paid from what was in their bank account or had to go through the conscious trouble of applying for a loan.

multiple credit cardsIf Experian data is correct, the average American had almost four credit cards during the thirds quarter of 2020.  This was an improvement or a reduction on the number of credit cards consumers held in 2019.  So then what is the appropriate number of credit cards one should have? You’ll have to decide based on your finances and credit objectives, but, here are some pros and cons.

Being able to use more than one credit card makes it easier to split expenses amongst them.  This reduces the percentage of the available balance you is being used on any single credit cards.  This lower credit utilization when kept low may help your credit score.  For instance, say you have a major purchase, like a $300.00 lawnmower, in addition to your regular expenses.  If you had one credit card, the $300.00 for the lawnmower would increase the percentage of the available credit limit that is being used.  This may affect in a negative way the credit score.  But, with two credit cards, one may be used for regular expenses and the other to purchase the lawnmower. 

With multiple credit cards you can also maximize the rewards that the credit companies offer.  If one credit card gives three percent cashback rewards on supermarket purchases only and another gives two percent on gasoline, then you can split how you use them. 

Some credit cards also send offers you can take advantage of.  Back to the $300.00 lawnmower, you can search for a credit card that offers several month same as cash repayments instead of using the regular credit card used for all other expenses.  As long as the lawnmower is paid in full before the same as case payment period expires, you will save money by not paying interest.

But what could go wrong with having multiple credit cards? 

Lack of discipline can lead to having too many credit cards and too much debt.  If you have a history of overspending, it may benefit you better to just have one credit card that can keep an eye on.  Some credit cards make it too easy to open accounts.  Self control is vital.

Having too many credit cards can also make it difficult to remember when payments are due.  Next thing you’ll see late fees being added to the bill.  If you are not an organized person, for the sake of not getting stuck with late fees, stick to one credit card.

Also, remember that when a credit card company opens an account it may run a hard credit on you.  This will have a negative effect on your credit score.  So to keep your credit score on the high side, it is best to keep the number of credit cards you have to a minimum.

As mentioned, there is not written in stone way of telling how many credit cards you should have.  But, do take into consideration the points mentioned.  Hopefully it will keep the financial pain at a minimum. 

Some of the points on this blog were derived from a blog by Ben Luthi at Experian’s website, https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/how-many-credit-cards-should-i-have/.

Saving money to buy a home can be difficult when you're also working to pay off debt. Whether you owe on student loans, previous mortgages, personal loans or any other type of credit, these tips will help you pay off your debts and accomplish your goals.

RESEARCH MORTGAGES

If you plan to buy a home, you should first research the types of mortgages available to you to help determine how much money you need to save. In addition to picking the type of mortgage that best fits your needs, you will want to look for a loan with a low interest rate. This will reduce the total amount of money you pay over the life of your mortgage.

One way to lower your mortgage's interest rate is to pay discount points upfront. In other words, the borrower can choose to pay the lender an additional percentage of the principal amount, known as a point, at the time of closing. Each point will reduce the interest rate by an amount determined by the lender. This in turn lowers your monthly payments. Depending on your loan, your finances and the length of time you plan to own the home, this may be a great option for you. You can use a mortgage points calculator to help determine if it is a good choice and how many points you should pay.

CREATE A BUDGET

A budget should serve as a roadmap that helps you know what you can spend without stretching your money too thin. Knowing how to make a budget is a crucial skill when trying to pay off debt, save money and cover monthly expenses. You should start with your monthly income after taxes and deduct required fixed expenses, such as rent and payments towards loans. Then, you should deduct the average amounts you spend on required variable expenses, such as utility bills and groceries.

Once you've subtracted all of the expenses you must pay and determine how much money you have left, decide how much of that amount you can put into your savings account each month. Next, you can list out payments that are not necessities, such as gym memberships or subscriptions to websites, and determine what you should keep paying for and what expenses to cut from your budget to save money. You can use the remaining money to increase loan payments, increase savings, create an emergency fund or invest.

MAKE REGULAR PAYMENTS

For any type of debt, you should be making fixed monthly payments and making sure you are paying towards the principal and interest. Each loan is comprised of two parts: principal and interest. The principal is the amount that you actually borrowed. The interest is the extra percentage that you pay to the lender so that they can profit off of loaning you money.

Many people make the mistake of simply agreeing to the minimum monthly payments and not looking at where their payment is really going. If all of your payment is going towards interest, the principal amount is not decreasing. You should look at your monthly statements to make sure you are reducing the principal and not just the interest rate. This will help you pay off your loan much faster and greatly reduce the amount of interest you pay over time.

If the sum of your individual loan payments are overwhelming and don’t allow you to pay more towards your balance, you may want to look into consolidating them with a personal loan. This can reduce your interest rate and monthly payment amount, allowing you to pay the balance more quickly and save more money. In many cases, you can even apply for a personal loan online.

Paying off your debts and saving enough money to buy a home takes planning, hard work and research. It may seem like a daunting task, but it is worth it in the end.

Article written by Emma Grace Brown

Image source: Pexels

Being out of work can be stressful, but there are some ways to make money on the side while you look for a new job. Along with working side jobs, you can find new ways to save money each month to help you plan for the future. Use this guide for advice on making ends meet and staying afloat while between jobs.

The art of the side hustle

The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating to some industries such as hospitality, entertainment, and travel. If you worked in one of those industries and you’re out of work, it may be necessary to find a new way to make money. Consider what strengths you have that could allow you to make money on the side, whether it’s writing, caring for animals, or tutoring students.

If you like to write, you’re in luck: there are countless writing gigs you can get online. The challenge is in finding opportunities. One great way to connect with potential clients is through online job boards and freelancer websites. You can create a profile, set your rates, and bid on projects that appeal to you. If you have a client that you work well with, it could even turn into a regular gig.

For people who are good with animals, it’s possible to make money walking dogs or pet sitting. There are a few handy apps out there to help dog walkers connect with pet owners, so do some research and apply online. Or if you’d rather go at it alone, you can start advertising your services on local neighborhood forums or social media groups.

Tutoring is another side-hustle option, especially if you’re good at a particular subject. For example, if you’re a math whiz, you can start tutoring students of any age online. Tutoring can be perfect for those who want a flexible schedule and want to form connections with people.

Starting a business

If you generate enough clients in your side hustle to sustain you long-term, it might be worth looking into starting your own limited liability company or LLC. An LLC is a useful business structure because it allows owners to protect their personal assets and gain some tax advantages.

You can form an LLC in Ohio on your own or hire a formation service to help you. Just be sure to check the regulations in your state to ensure you’re following the necessary requirements for business formation.

Revamp your budget

Along with earning extra money, it’s a good idea to revamp your budget so you can curb unnecessary spending. Many people spend far more each month than they realize, and without a budget, it can be hard to reign in the extra spending. Create a budget to help you plan for every expense, and keep track of your spending so you can find new ways to save.

Along with allowing you to save money each month, budgeting also allows you to save for the future. Once you determine a few ways to save on your monthly spending, you can create savings accounts to put away money for bigger purchases or an emergency fund. The pandemic has illuminated the need for emergency funds, so do what you can to put aside money for a rainy day, if possible.

Even if you’ve been out of work for a while, it’s still possible to kickstart your earnings with a side hustle. Whether it’s writing, dog walking, or tutoring, side jobs can help you get back on your feet financially and will help give you confidence as you rejoin the workforce. Be sure to adjust your spending habits with a new budget and put away money when you can for emergency funds.

Writen for America's Loan Company by Emma Grace Brown

Little can make you think more about the future than having a family, and it can also make you keenly aware of the need to plan. Laying a solid financial foundation is a must when others depend on you, and the last thing you want is to end up in a position where you or someone you love faces hardship. Here’s how to ensure your family is well-provided for, both in the short- and long-term.

Create crucial safety nets.

It’s natural to think about what might possibly happen if you or your partner should unexpectedly pass. Creating an actual safety net ensures if those unfortunate circumstances arise, your family is properly provided for. With that in mind, consider doing some estate planning. Decide who you prefer to step in as legal guardian, preplan your funeral, and examine your life insurance options.

One important insurance to consider is disability insurance. As Money Under 30 explains, disability insurance helps replace your income if you should become unable to work, and there are both short- and long-term options. A wide variety of circumstances are typically covered, such as an injury, pregnancy, or illness. A standard policy replaces 60 percent of your income. Short-term policies are typically for three to six months, while long-term policies could potentially cover through retirement age.

There is also legal documentation you should assemble for your family’s security, such as a will, trust, power of attorney, and healthcare proxy. By establishing these things while you are fully able, you ensure your desires are met, and loved ones are taken care of, come what may.

Focus on your future.

Many people aren’t too concerned about retirement when they are just getting their families started, but the sooner you can start planning, the further ahead you will be as time goes by. In fact, as USA Today explains, there are a number of benefits from starting retirement planning early in life. It’s a chance to increase your net worth, improve your credit rating, and it’s a great way to get comfortable with investing. If you play your cards right, you might even be able to retire early!

Examine the various retirement plan options to decide what’s best for you and your family. If you aren’t sure of your situation or need help assessing your goals, a retirement calculator can give you a better feel for things.

Look into how an MBA can help your family’s future.

When planning for your family’s future, it can become daunting to think about growing in your career, saving for your kid’s college, and owning a home. One tool that can greatly impact your financial security is an MBA. By taking advantage of this next step in your education, you are re-investing in yourself.

Studies show that an MBA can increase your pre-MBA salary by up to 50%! That’s an amazing investment that can also come with the added benefit of an increased professional network. A strong group of connections will allow you to advance in your career and provide ample prospects when looking for new opportunities.

Consider your kids’ future.

Are you planning to help pay for your children to attend college? If so, there are some key options worth considering. You can establish a savings account, invest in a 529 plan, or choose a prepaid tuition plan. Another option is an UTMA or UGMA, although your children can elect to use those funds for something other than college tuition, which some parents consider a downfall.

Don’t forget daily spending.

No matter how well you plan for the future, if day-to-day spending isn’t realistic, you’ll never meet your goals. With that in mind, organize your income and bills. As U.S. News explains, a practical budget can help you identify where you are currently spending, and where you need to make changes to achieve all you dream of for you and your family. There are several budgeting systems to consider, and they all come back to tracking your income and outflow carefully.

Sorting out details

Making solid choices for yourself and your children can be confusing. Sometimes families do best connecting with advisors for advice, and there are a couple of key professionals who can assist you with sorting out details. An estate lawyer can provide insights on creating your family’s safety net, and a financial advisor can assist you with budgeting and investing decisions.

Taking great care of your family won’t happen by chance. Examine your goals and how you can best reach them. With good plans, you ensure security for you and your loved ones.

In need of funds? Apply online with America’s Loan Company now.

Article writen by Emma Grace Brown

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Customer Notice: Personal loans, title loans, and car loans have terms 6 months or longer. There are no early payoff penalties. We currently report to one of the 3 major credit bureaus, TransUnion. However, many factors affect your credit score. Therefore, we can't promise that your credit score will improve while having a loan with us.

Requirements: We are able to service Ohio residents only. Approval depends upon meeting legal, regulatory and underwriting requirements. America's Loan Company may, at its discretion, verify application information by using national databases, including but not limited to Teletrack and any of the national credit bureaus. America's Loan Company may take this information into consideration in the approval process. Due to state and verification requirements, not all applicants for loans may be eligible for approval by America's Loan Company. You may be required to submit additional documents due to state law and qualification criteria.

Products & Services: Products and services offered to customers may vary based on customer eligibility and applicable state and federal law. Actual loan amounts vary. The availability of loans and extensions may vary. Auto loans and secured personal loans are subject to minimum auto value requirements.

Further Personal Loan Disclosures: For qualified customers, America’s Loan Company offers bad credit personal loans with terms of 6 months to 5 years, with APR under 35.9%. As an example, you may borrow $1,500.00 over a 24 month period, with a $10.00 credit investigation fee, $100.00 loan origination fee, and $452.32 in interest, for a total payment of $2062.32, with an APR of 32.6514%, and monthly payments of $85.93.

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