Sunday, 15 February 2015

How Your Wallet Should Look In 2015

Now that we’ve crossed one and a half month of the year 2015, you must be wondering what 2015 has in store for your wallets and for the entire economy. A powerful thing these days is a financial built that is built on reasonable foresight, with the tanking price of oil, the economic weakness that is prevailing in the world, the aging bull market and the series of geopolitical headwinds. Every year, there are some important milestones and trends that are expected to occur in a year. So, what’s being predicted about 2015? What will be the shape and size of your wallet? Will you be able to manage your soaring financial obligations? What does the credit card industry has in store for you?

Federal Reserve predicts a rate hike in 2015 – A detailed look

According to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy statement, interest rates are all set to increase in mid-2015, the first rise since 2006. The Federal Open Market Committee announced that it keep on winding down its bond-buying stimulus program by trimming off $10 from its monthly purchases, thereby leaving the stimulus program to end by October. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said that the US economy is gradually making progress towards the FOMC’s aim of sustainable employment. 

However, the labor market needs to recover fully.

When all this happens, the interest rate increase will have an impact on most of the credit card users. As the interests of the variable-rate cards are linked to the prime rates of the bank, whenever the Fed acts on its decision, the people who carry balance on their variable rate card will see the monthly interest costs start rising. On the other hand, the savers will see good advantages as the yields on their savings account will see an increase.

Unemployment level to reach 5%

If you have an eye on the bigger picture, you will know that a large portion of the global economy is in trouble, Europe, Japan and OPEC, the economic resurgence of US is still sluggish, as it seems. Experts expect more of the same kind of recovery, if not better in the year 2015. Predictions reveal a GDP growth of 3% and a reduction in unemployment to 5%. Such statistics could easy take the US back to levels that were never seen since early 2008, before the seeping in of the financial crisis. Healthy corporate balance sheets will be seen due to more people a work, more output and more robust economic growth.

Higher automobile sales

The relatively old fleet of cars, where an average vehicle is 11.4 years old, the rejuvenating economy and the still-low interest rates led to a solid year of automobile sales in 2014. Experts expect 2015 to be even better as a larger number of consumers gain confidence in their savings opportunities and financial security.

Consumers may accumulate at least $60 billion in credit card debt

During the past few years, there has been a rapid decline in the performance of consumer credit cards as the bad memory of the Great Recession has faded into memory. The Americans accrued $36.7 billion credit card debt in 2012, $38.8 billion in 2013, and $60 billion in 2014 which shows a combined amount of $135.6 billion in only 3 years. This unabated trend is projected to continue in 2015. In fact according to projections, consumers will incur at least $60 million in new credit card debt during 2015. Obviously there’s a fake hope that everyone should follow a budget, spend much less than what they earn and also save for their rainy day fund.

Massive closing of branches will be seen among banks

As a larger portion of the market shifts to mobile applications and the ‘online-only’ accounts, banks have been closing down their branches throughout the US in massive numbers. There were 1487 net closings in 2013 and this was till now the highest number that was recorded since 2002. As per research by SNL Financial, around 1464 branches were closed through mid-November, 2014. Experts expect this trend to continue and increase through 2015.

Expert advice for consumers in 2015

As we see that the condition of the US economy and the world economy is not going through a very 
positive way, consumers have to stay on the safe side by taking some watchful financial steps. They have to take steps to get rid of their debt by taking out debt consolidation loans utah so that they can use the proceeds to repay their debt obligations with ease. Boost your savings and create an 
emergency fund for better lifestyle.

Therefore, when you’re wondering about the shape and size of your wallet in 2015, you should take the above mentioned facts into consideration. Speak to a financial advisor and take advice on the financial steps to take in order to remain debt free.

About Author

Jimmy Simond is a founder of he share his immense knowledge of Finance in this blog.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Major Pitfalls To Avoid In Handling Foreign Currency Exchanges Like Pound To Euro

What are the things you should not do in handling your foreign currencies if you plan on earning money from it? If you have done exchanges like pound to euro, what are the pitfalls you should avoid to lessen the possibility of incurring losses? You should read the following parts for your reference on what you shouldn’t be or do when it comes to handling your foreign currency investment. Organized

Don’t be impulsive and irrational because you may end up making baseless decisions.

Decisions, no matter how small or big the effect is, should be carefully thought of for more than a couple of times.  You can’t immediately rush into things just because you feel like doing it. Impulsive decisions will cost you a lot since you have not assessed the outcome of your actions. If you act upon things without any basis, then it seems like you are digging your own grave. Exchanging your pound to euro should not be done just because you notice there are several individuals who do it. This exchange may be favourable on their part but not for you. Remember that it is your own money which you will place into an investment. Have the extreme caution as you analyse the foreign currency exchanges rather than regret in the end.

Don’t be easily persuaded by other traders or brokers.

It is inevitable for you to hear different opinions from various traders and brokers of foreign currencies. Do not be easily persuaded with the things you may hear from them. Their opinions may clash the perspectives of each other. You may just see yourself stuck in confusion as you don’t know what you must do and whom you shall trust. Before choosing the advice you will follow, you should have an overall assessment of the actions you will do first. A projected forecast for each decision will absolutely help you. Pose yourself different questions such as: Is it beneficial to exchange your British pound to dollars? What is the euro rate today? How much will I have to keep? How long should I keep this allocated amount? What are the top performing countries recently in terms of their economy? While it is helpful to hear opinions from different brokers and traders, just be careful not to fall into the trap of becoming a victim.  

It is not advisable to hoard a huge amount and keep it for a long time.

It is very risky to keep a large amount of foreign currency for a long time. There are uncertainties that can happen in the global market which will directly affect the value of the foreign currency you are holding. If you are willing to go with everything you got then you have to rethink again. A huge amount kept for a long time is more prone to losses once an unpleasant event takes place. Say for instance that you are waiting for a certain value of the euro rate today within this month. It continuously increases each day but it’s still far from your target value. Then all of a sudden, its value dropped even lower compared to the amount you have purchased the foreign currency. The losses are significant because you have hoarded a huge amount for a long time.

It is best to not mix the foreign currencies intended for expenses with the investment.

It seems disorganized when you have foreign currencies which you both use as investments in the foreign currency exchanges and for purchasing items from other countries. Open a separate bank account for the foreign currencies you are maintaining like for example your Australian dollar. You have to track down all of your transactions. It will be easier if one account is intended only for a single purpose. You will be able to see the cash flows which are all related to your investment in foreign currency exchange trade. Moreover, you can easily compare your previous balance with the current balance and see the difference of the amounts. As you allocate the amount you will use to purchase foreign currency, immediately open a bank account intended solely for it.

Don’t be too complacent.

Keep an eye on everything that may and will affect the value of the foreign currency whether it’s positively or negatively. Be quick as to how you will use and lay your cards for the next days or weeks. If you are unaware of the news then you may end up incurring losses because you are too complacent or you appear gullible and others try to take advantage of you. The worst that may happen is if there are already the indicators regarding an event which will heavily influence the value and you still choose to stick with your decision from last week. As much as other traders would want to see the high value of a certain foreign currency and exchange pound to euro or other foreign currencies, be open to all possibilities so you won’t be taken aback with an unexpected happening.

About Author

Jimmy Simond is a founder of he share his immense knowledge of Finance in this blog.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Moving Towards Financial Prudence – The New Year Is All About New Beginnings

If the New Year is considered all about new beginnings, don’t you think that this is the right opportunity to move towards financial prudence? Although the New Year might still be a few days away, but this is the right time to get some personal financial matters in place, before the Christmas and New Year celebrations take over. The simplest thing to do is to include any money related resolution to your list. Doing so might seem to be a spoiler but this should well be the one decision that you were able to put in practice and get paid handsomely in the long run. If you wish to plan ahead of time so as to stay on top of your personal finances, here are some points with which you could start off.

  • Learn more about your finances: In case you think that it is solely the duty of your financial advisor or planner to know about all kinds of financial products, you’re grossly mistaken. Apart from the financial planner, it is also the investor’s responsibility to know where to invest his dollars. Even the investors who prefer to stay with simpler products should study their investment choices. The problem with most people is that they don’t have an inclination towards reading on finance. Well, you don’t have to become a CFA but you should know the basics. Having a basic understanding will help you get a grip on the bigger picture.
  •  Reflect on your cash flow: Another simple way of getting disciplined and getting into the habit of saving is to first find and then plug the loopholes in your expenses. If investing is important for you, track the cash flow. Once you figure out your avoidable expenses, you can easily channelize money into savings and investments. People are usually undisciplined and they love to be savers, not investors. So, jot down where you spend, what amount you spend.
  • Start with a small amount: If you find it difficult to save and invest, the best way to do so is to start small. Many people will think that small investments take them nowhere. A small amount out away may look like nothing but you will rather be surprised to know how this amount may add up. Hence, keep saving money in small amounts so that you can soon see your fund growing.
  • Manage your debts: While you investigate your expenses, make sure you pay close attention to your loans. In case you realize that you have too many, it is time that you consolidate them.  You can either seek help of the debt consolidation programs or take out debt consolidation loans in order to combine all your loans into a single monthly payment. Before doing that, remember that all loans are not bad and hence keep paying the ones are used to build assets, like mortgage and car loans.

Hence, if you’re someone who is dreaming of spending a debt-free 2015, take into account the above mentioned tips to save your dollars. At the same time make resolutions to invest safely.

About Author

Jimmy Simond is a founder of he share his immense knowledge of Finance in this blog.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Spending A Thrifty Christmas In 2014 – Use Your Dollars In The Right Way To Avoid Debt

Whether you like it or not, Christmas is just a week away. If your family is like any other family in the US, the weeks around Christmas are usually jam-packed with events with extended family members and friends, wrapping and exchanging gifts, preparing meals and eating them and then fighting off the winter blues with a heavy dose of Christmas cheer. The problem with Christmas is that it can get really expensive as the little expenses gradually add up, which can result in some difficult and stressful moments post holidays. In fact, there are people in the US who still are struggling to pay off debt that they incurred 2 years back. If you wish to mend ways this year and spend a debt-free Christmas, here are some vital financial tips that you can follow. 

  • Make a list of presents that you need: If you make a list of presents that you need to buy for your family and friends, you can agree to a price limit that you’re capable of paying. Once you make the list, you can revise and check whether all the names are worth including. Revise the list and check if some names would be marked off or not. This is especially true when you’re planning to spend Christmas on a tight budget. Mention the price of the gifts to your family members so that there are no wrong expectations about gifts and presents.
  •  Start making your own presents: There are many people who love to receive homemade Christmas gifts, particularly the foodie ones. Most people have most of the gifts that you’re planning to give them and hence it is certainly not a bad idea to make something new for them. If you have some people on your list who appreciates homemade gifts, you can make some for them.
  • Schedule alternate Christmas celebrations: We all are aware of the fact that holiday travel during the peak periods, the week during Thanksgiving and the weeks around Christmas are incredibly expensive if they’re travelling by air. So, when you have to save some money so that you don’t fall in debt, you should discuss an alternate Christmas celebration. Perhaps you could all gather for a weekend in early December instead of the peak time. You can even celebrate Christmas at home and enjoy a family gathering at low prices.
  • Arrange potluck dinners: Instead of you cooking all the meals on your own, why don’t you arrange potluck dinners at your home or your friend’s home? This will not only allow you to save money but also engage your friends in sharing for the dinner. You will get to know about the culinary skills of your friends so that you can host the next potluck dinner in their homes in your next party. Sit together and arrange potluck dinners if you’re on a tight budget.
So, when you want to spend a debt-free Christmas, follow the above mentioned thrifty tips. Avoid holiday debt as this is the most expensive thing that you carry forward into the New Year.

About Author

Jimmy Simond is a founder of he share his immense knowledge of Finance in this blog.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Credit Cards Search Has Never Been This Fast And Easy To Do With Silver

Silver is a new mobile application that helps you to find the best credit cards in seconds, get all the details you need, and even let you apply directly from your mobile device. With Silver, you stay on top of your credit cards, so you never miss a renewal or get hit with annual fee & interest fees again.

With constantly fluctuating rates and available services, the developers of the Silver mobile app understand how difficult and time-consuming it can be to research and compare the plethora of credit cards that exist in the market.

How Silver works is simple: users answer a short questionnaire that reveals what they are looking for in a credit card. From better interest rates to exclusive services and perks, Silver reviews users’ answers to provide them with a comprehensive list of credit cards that match their needs. Hundreds of cards can be instantly compared using the app’s easy-to-use and intuitive interface. Once users find the cards they are interested in, they can view card details, apply and even be instantly approved from their mobile device! Silver uses a unique algorithm to make finding the credit cards that makes the most sense for you quick and painless.

Created by graduates of Wharton and the Harvard Business School, Silver was born out of the frustration of receiving an overwhelming influx of credit card offers, and the demand of others in the market for a credit card could benefit from using the Silver app.
Silver is available for free on Android and iOS.

Chris Ochin
Silver Money Services
499 7th Avenue
19th Floor South Tower
New York, NY 10018
(917) 935 9104

About Author

Jimmy Simond is a founder of he share his immense knowledge of Finance in this blog.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

It Is Possible To Get A Personal Loan While Unemployed

The shape of the economy has caused many people to go into deep debt as well as finding themselves unemployed. There have been layoffs and companies closing all over the country and the jobs that are being lost during this time have not made it easy to find a new place of employment. If you are lucky enough to find a new job you will find yourself working part time and usually at a much lesser wage than you were making previously. This is leading to those who are unemployed finding themselves in financial ruin.  So what does a person do when they are out of money, unemployed and in the financial situation where a loan is a must?  Believe it or not there is a personal loan for the unemployed that can help you.
Personal Loans For The Unemployed
If you are one of the many unemployed people in the world who have been asking around regarding a personal loan you are probably finding out that without any income or collateral to use for the loan you are in a position of not being able to pay back the loan and you are probably be told just that. However there are lenders who have programs in place to help people in your financial situation and will help get your back on your feet despite not having a job.
The Background Of The Unsecured Loan
If you do not have any collateral to put towards a loan you are considering an unsecured loan. What this means to you is that you are not putting your property at risk to secure the loan you are taking.This leaves you to receive an unsecured personal loan. These loans can be received in the smaller amounts of around $1000 but can also be for larger amounts up to $25,000. Your financial situation will play into how much your will be able to receive and can be discussed with your lender.
Loans For The Unemployed
If you have found yourself in the situation of being unemployed you might not think that you are able to receive a personal loan. However you can apply for an unemployment personal loan. The lender will usually not ask or even care what the money is going to be used for and you will have the option of using the money for whatever you want.  You can even use the money to live on if it has come to that. 
You Need To Be Responsible
When you obtain a personal loan for the unemployed you will need to be responsible with the money that you are going to receive. You will need to spend it carefully and be sure to pay it back in agreement with the repayment plan that has been put into place. 
If you are in the situation of needing a loan and you are unemployed there is no need for you to worry. There are personal loans that are available to help you. Once you obtain this loan you will need to pay it back timely and not fall behind on your payments. The goal is to keep your good credit rating even if you are unemployed.

About Author

Jimmy Simond is a founder of he share his immense knowledge of Finance in this blog.

Potential Changes In Tax During 2015 – Who Will Be The Benefiting?

According to recent reports, the Internal Revenue Service or the IRS has accounted the annual inflation adjustments for a number of provisions for the year 2015, including tax tables, tax rate schedules and cost-of-living adjustments for certain tax items. The changes will be applicable numbers for the tax yea 2015, in other words it will be effective from 1st January, 2015. They will not be the numbers and rates that you’ll use to prepare your 2014 tax returns in 2015. Instead, these numbers and rates (the changed ones) are those that you will use to prepare your 2015 tax returns in 2016. Did you get it? Good! Now let’s have a look at the changes.

In this article we’ll continue the approach that we’ve taken in the past to discuss the significant and potential tax changes in 2014-2015. That discussion will include changes to the Social Security and Medicare, mileage deduction rates, tax standard deduction rates, earned income credits, Hope and Lifetime Learning tax credits and changes to the retirement accounts like the 401(k), IRAs and Roth plans.

Individual tax payers

If the taxable income is between:
Then the tax due is:
                               0 - $9,225
10% of the taxable income
$9,226 - $37,450
$922.50 + 15% of the amount over $9,225
$37,451 - $90,750
$5,156.25 + 25% of the amount over $37,450
$90,751 - $189,300
$18,481.25 +28% of the amount over $90,750
$189,301- $411,500
$46,075.25 + 33% of the amount over $189,300
$411,501 - $413,200
$119,401.25 + 35% of the amount over $411,500
$413,201 and above
$119,996.25 + 39.6% of the amount over $413,200

Standard deductions: All taxpayers will now see a slight increase in the standard deduction. The standard deduction rises to $6300 for singles and the married couples filing seperate returns and $12,600 for married couples who are filing jointly, up from $6200 and $12,400 respectively for the tax year 2014. The standard deduction for heads of household rises to $9240 up from $9100.

Filing Status
Standard Deduction Amount
Married filing jointly
Married filing separately
Head of Household
Surviving Spouse

Itemized deductions: There are limitations for itemized deductions too – The pease limitations, which has been named after former Rep. Don Pease – for 2015 will be introduced for individuals with incomes of $258,250 or more. The Pease Limitations were slated to be reduced from the beginning of 2006 and then it was eliminated in 2010; as with other tax cuts, the elimination was then extended throughout the end of 2012. The limitations were then brought back in 2013 according to the original threshlds, indexed for inflation. The particular result of those changes is basically an increase in the top marginal tax rates.

Therefore, if you’re wondering about taking out a huge loan for some big purchase, you should be considered about the taxes. Take into account the above mentioned tax changes that are to be introduced in 2015 so that you can measure and weigh your decisions in the near future.

About Author

Jimmy Simond is a founder of he share his immense knowledge of Finance in this blog.