Financial

8 Surprising Sources of Income Lying Around Your House

The next time you are running low on cash, consider selling unused items you have lying around in your home. When things get cluttered, it can seem like it might be easier to just donate or trash those unwanted pieces. However, you may be surprised to find that many things you no longer use could actually add up to hundreds of dollars in your pocket.

Clothing

This is an easy place to start make some extra cash while tidying up your closet in the meantime. The best way to tackle this project is to take every item out of your closet. As you sort through each item, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
Have I worn this in the past 12 months?
Does it still fit?
If I saw this in the store right now, would I buy it?
Will I wear this again?
After you have sorted through and separated the things you wear from the things you do not, it’s time to make some cash. You can take your items to a local consignment store or even sell them online. There are great websites and apps for selling gently used items locally. If you do not have transportation, there are also apps for you to list your items and ship them instead.

Shoes, Handbags, and Jewelry

While you are on the closet purging mission, don’t forget to sort through your shoes, handbags, and jewelry too. Your local jewelry store or even pawn shop may be willing to give you a decent amount of cash for these items.

Medical Supplies

There are several companies that will buy medical supplies, as long as they are in decent or like new condition. In fact, this article provides a list and reviews of websites that will buy unused diabetic test strips, with Sell Your Strips for More being number one on their list. There are many cases (like gestational diabetes) in which you may need supplies like this, but only for a short period of time.

Books, CD’s, and DVD’s

There is a good chance that you have heard of selling used items on Amazon and eBay. But, did you know there are lots of other websites where you can sell used books, DVD’s, and CD’s? An article published earlier this year by Well Kept Wallet provides a list of 14 different places to sell these used items, along with a bit of information about each one.

Furniture

Do you have furniture sitting in your garage or basement collecting dust? You aren’t sure what to do with it, and you just can’t seem to find a place to put it inside your home without making things too cluttered. Maybe it is time to consider selling it. Of course, there are a slew of websites you can use as well as posting it on social media.

Electronics

Money Pantry offers a list (with reviews) of 20 of the best places to sell used or broken electronics. This includes old cell phones, gaming systems, tablets, computers, televisions, etc.

Children’s Toys

Children tend to “grow out” of and go through toys pretty quickly, and they eventually end up in the bottom of the toy chest. Take some time to go through those toys and get rid of anything they haven’t played with in six months or so. You can take them to local consignment stores, and sell them online as well. You may even find a friend who is willing to make a trade, saving you money when the next birthday or holiday rolls around.

Gift Cards

It may seem crazy, but every year 1 billion gift cards go unused every year. Take a look through your wallet, pull out those gift cards you have been holding onto, and sell them for cash.

November 8, 2018 / by / in
4 Ways Entrepreneurs can Relieve Financial Stress

Not everyone is capable of being an entrepreneur. This title comes with an ability to handle a lot of ups and downs throughout the day. Experiencing a wide range of emotions on a daily basis can cause a lot of problems with stress and anxiety. If you’re an entrepreneur, then money is most likely always on your mind. It is probably the thing that motivated you to become in charge of your career destiny. It may even be the thing that helps you get out of bed in the morning.

However, just like money can bring you joy and excitement, it can also bring you a lot of stress. If you’re dealing with financial problems, then that’s probably all that you will be thinking about. Although it’s normal to think about your current financial situation and come up with ways to improve it, you shouldn’t let stress consume you.

Keep in mind that too much stress will ultimately distract you from your work and will most likely make you unproductive, which is literally the worst thing that can happen to you while you’re in a bad financial situation. In order to avoid these problems, you will need to do everything in your power to relieve financial stress.

Be Prepared

The best way to relieve financial stress is to prepare yourself for the rainy days with an emergency fund. The main reason why everyone should have an emergency fund is security. You never know what hardships you may experience. Whether it’s a job loss, car repair or a sudden medical procedure, without an emergency fund, these situations may have a negative effect on your financial state. So, in order to prevent going through problems, consider putting some money aside on a weekly basis.

If you experience an emergency situation but don’t have money to deal with it, there’s nothing else to do but get a loan. Fortunately, you can find numerous options for loans online. Keep in mind that it shouldn’t be hard for you to get a loan if you have a steady job. Just make sure that you’ve chosen the best option.

Be Organized

Having good organizational skills is one of the best ways for you to relieve yourself from any financial stress. This means that you should make a plan on how to spend your money. This can be efficiently done by acknowledging your income and expenses. When you put everything on the paper, only then will you be able to properly manage your expenses.

The main things you want to focus on include taxes, savings, and necessities like groceries and bills. It’s a good idea to determine how much of your income will you have to spend on each of these things.

Relax

Financial stress can sometimes have an impact on other aspects of your life. If you’re constantly thinking about your negative financial situation, then you’ll likely let the stress consume you. In order to prevent this from happening, you’ll have to learn to enjoy everyday activities. There are a lot of ways to distract your mind from work. One of the healthiest ways to relax is to find a hobby that you would enjoy.

By trying different things to relieve stress, you will be able to think clearer and come up with better ways to overcome your financial problems.

Get Help from a Professional

Most entrepreneurs like to solve things themselves. Although this way of thinking may be good in some cases, it shouldn’t be employed if you’re dealing with serious financial problems. Keep in mind that just because you’re an entrepreneur doesn’t mean that you’re an expert when it comes to handling funds. Although it may seem like a waste of money to hire someone when you’re strapped for cash, you’ll see that a professional financial advisor will most likely have the answers to all of your problems.

May 14, 2018 / by / in
When Is It Time To Hire A Financial Advisor

It may seem like hiring a financial advisor is a waste of money if everything in your life is going well. However, you should know that you will have to make hard decisions sooner or later. For example, you could encounter an amazing investment opportunity. You may also run into some financial problems that you are completely unprepared for. When you find yourself in these situations, a person that can help you is a financial advisor. Therefore, you should know when the right time to hire one is.

Unfortunately, many people don’t even know what financial advisors do and what some of the reasons for hiring them are. In most cases, people hire financial advisors when they can’t seem to plan their financial future properly and need a roadmap. On the other hand, some folks are simply very bad with money and need someone to tell them how to spend it. However, there are also people that are good when it comes to handling their money, but know that a third-party opinion would help make their financial plans stronger. If you’re not really sure whether you should hire a financial advisor, here is how to determine whether you should.

You’re in Retirement

“It’s a good idea to hire a financial advisor if you’re either in retirement or are approaching it,” advises Merrill Lynch private wealth advisor Patrick Dwyer. When you’re near retirement, you’ll be faced with some important financial decisions. First of all, you will have to determine whether you’re financially ready to retire. You will also need to come up with a plan to spread your money so that you’re able to meet your needs and make the cash last. It can be extremely hard to answer these questions on your own, which is why you should consider consulting a professional.

You Don’t Want to Deal with Money

It’s no secret that a lot of people are simply bad at handling their funds. If you’re one of these people, then you shouldn’t have anything to be ashamed of, since it’s totally normal. Nevertheless, it’s extremely important that you realize and admit you’re bad at managing your money as soon as possible. If you’re aware of the fact that you’re not good with money, it will be a no-brainer for you to hire a financial advisor.

You are Self-Employed

Self-employed people tend to need financial advisors more than other people. This is mostly because they have a lot of different opportunities and financial questions. Self-employed individuals have to worry about business structure, variable income, their employees, and different retirement accounts. By hiring a financial advisor who specializes in working with these people, you won’t have to stress about certain problems anymore.

Sudden Wealth

In some cases, certain people get lucky and become rich all of a sudden. Some of the reasons for sudden wealth include winning the lottery, getting a huge insurance payout, inheritance, and a big divorce settlement. Unfortunately, people who get this type of money suddenly tend to spend it very quickly. Knowing that you have a lot will tempt you to spend it on things that you don’t really need.

You are Planning Your Financial Future

Coming up with a good financial plan for your future is very important and should not be taken lightly. You will encounter many obstacles that you will need to face with limited resources. Some of the biggest decisions that you’ll have to make include paying off your student debt, getting married, buying a new car, purchasing a house, and funding a retirement account. In order to ensure that you won’t run into any problems later on, you will need to come up with a solid plan. Of course, you probably won’t be able to do it alone, which is it’s a good idea to hire a financial advisor.

April 30, 2018 / by / in
Making Financial Forecasts More Realistic

Financial forecasting is a rarely enjoyable, yet critical practice when running a business. If you are managing a small business of your own, this chore likely falls to you personally. Financial forecasters must walk a fine line between excessive optimism on the one hand, and over-cautiousness on the other. Both of these extremes present their own risks: in the case of the former, you will leave yourself unprepared to face any setbacks or unfortunate events that may occur; in the latter, you may undersell your business to such a degree that it is unattractive to lenders or investors.

Your financial forecast works like a compass, keeping your business on track for success. Not only that, but it is a reflection of both the business itself and your abilities as a planner and a doer—two things that will be of interest to investors and lenders. Above all, financial forecasts should be realistic, and here are a few tips to achieve that desired accuracy.

ANTICIPATE THE WORST, AND HOPE FOR THE BEST

There’s no use forecasting for the easiest situation—i.e. if things were to continue as they are now. Of course, that requires the least amount of critical thinking, but it is also likely the least realistic scenario. Things will change. In the next one, three or five years, the government will pass new legislation, businesses will open and close their doors all around you, bus routes will change, apps will appear . . . any number of things could have a significant effect on your earnings and expenses. You should forecast for the best and worst case scenarios, as well as the likely in-between.

Forecasting for all conceivable scenarios will give you the deepest understanding of your financial situation, as well as prepare you to answer tough questions that may be posed by investors when they’re assessing your business.

BEGIN WITH EXPENSES

Our imaginations tend to run wilder when it comes to revenue than expenses, and costs are therefore a great place to start. Rent, utilities, advertising, salaries, communications—these are basic costs that your business will incur for, well, as long as it is in business. Start with these fundamental expenses to get a solid base for your forecast; these will be some of the most reliable figures in your forecast, and you might as well have a solid foundation.

Next, you can move to variable costs, values that will shift substantially based on performance or other factors. These expenses should include things like labor costs, cost of goods sold, supplies, customer service, and packaging. You should forecast these values according to your three scenarios.

CHECK YOUR RATIOS

There are several financial ratios that are useful for checking the reality of financial forecasts. These are helpful tools to strip away hopeful thinking and doubts to reveal the bare figures.

  • Checking your gross margin ratio (gross profit over net revenue) is particularly useful for checking your best-case scenario. Seeing the ratio jump remarkably from one scenario to the next may suggest that your estimates need refinement.
  • The acid-test ratio, or quick ratio (liquid assets over liabilities) is a great way to check your business’ ability to survive your worst-case scenario.

IF YOU’RE NOT SURE, ROUND UP

Forecasting is exceedingly difficult to get exactly right, especially if you are new to the process, or to business in general. There are certain expenses that even seasoned business owners routinely underestimate. Therefore, if you’re not sure about a certain expense, it is always better to overestimate than underestimate. In particular, marketing, advertising, licensing, insurance, and legal fees are particularly fickle and elusive—play it safe and double your estimate for these values to ensure that you budget accordingly.

MAKE YOUR ASSUMPTIONS EXPLICIT

In a financial forecast, you are calculating figures based on considerable amounts of conjecture and assumption. Factors that we routinely assume will behave as we expect are overall market performance, competitors, regulations, and technological advancement. When consulting your forecast in the future, you may subconsciously take numbers associated with these elements as absolute fact in order to justify costs or free up assets for a particularly attractive purchase. Don’t allow yourself this potentially destructive fallacy.

Make notes about your assumptions to clearly identify them as such. This will save you a lot of grief brought on by misinformation. It will also provide investors with a clearer impression of your finances, as well as assuring them that you are an aware and pragmatic leader.

REVIEW AND REASSESS

Financial forecasts should not be expected to remain unchanged once finished. In fact, they should never truly be finished at all. Your financial forecast will begin with many unknowns and assumptions (hence the multiple scenarios), yet through regular review, reassessment, and revision, those assumptions can gradually be firmed up, or otherwise slashed completely. Your business is dynamic, and your forecast should keep pace. The best way to keep your financial forecast realistic is by keeping it up to date. Fill in the blanks as they become apparent. You should aim to revise your forecast at least once per quarter, though you may also wish to do so after any relevant major occurrence.

Again, this will not only improve the accuracy of your forecast, but it will also assure investors and lenders that you are on top of your finances.

PRACTICE

Financial forecasts do become easier with experience, and your estimations will prove more accurate over time. The accuracy of financial forecasts relies in no small part on the ability to spot upcoming change, as well as an understanding of costs associated with all areas of business, and these are things that come only with hours logged.

It is said that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a master of something—anything—so if you want to master financial forecasts, you should strive for frequency. Not only will this practice improve your accuracy, but forecasting more frequently, in the beginning, will also give you chances to catch errors and inaccuracies quickly!

January 24, 2018 / by / in ,