(BPT) – If you love the idea of being a landlord and don’t mind being on duty around the clock, buying investment property may be the wealth-building option for you.
Property values have enjoyed a steady increase over the decades. That’s why real estate has earned its reputation as a sound investment that builds wealth and credit.
Most people, however, don’t have the quantity of cash on hand to purchase a house or apartment building outright. Still, if becoming a landlord means taking out a 30-year mortgage, the monthly payments from the tenants should be enough to service the loan and build equity for you, while leaving some cash flow so you can maintain the property.
If buying investment property sounds like a step you’d like to take, here are some credit considerations every investor needs to know.
1. Be mindful of the inquiry stage
Once you decide to purchase an investment property, it’s important to do everything you can to make sure your credit score stays as high as possible until the loan is approved and signed. Your goal is to land the best possible interest rate because View full post…
5 Ways to Manage Your Money Better & Take Charge of Your Finances
Do you put off making changes to better manage your money? If you have financial fears, does the prospect of financial planning seem next to impossible? If so, you’re not alone. Almost one half of Americans find this scary, and it doesn’t have to be.
There’s no need to postpone a much-needed review of your financial situation any longer. Getting your finances back on track and knowing where your hard-earned money is going, is not that difficult. Over 80% of Americans say that they would like to be in better control of their finances.
For that reason, we offer a simple checklist of five options that you can review to fit your specific personal circumstances. By following them, you will be well on your way to being in control of your money.
First and foremost, get rid of credit card debt. Many individuals are carrying several credit cards with high balances with high fees and very high interest rates. Many are only able to pay the minimum payments required, and in doing so, will be paying on those cards into old age.
Our first recommendation is to create a workable budget and stick to it. Debt retirement should be budgeted, and any extra money needs to be applied to your debt. If that doesn’t appeal to you, then obtain a debt consolidation loan to repay every credit card in full. Going forward, stop using your cards and don’t create any more debt.
Review all of your service providers. Look at all of your monthly expenses and see if its possible to lower them by switching to a competitor. This applies to auto insurance and your cable and Internet provider.
You’ll be surprised to see just how high a cable and Internet provider can get their bill up by those impossible to refuse offers you get from them. There are ways to cut that bill practically in half without much difficulty. As you try to manage your money better, this is one area to pay particular attention.
If you’re into apps, there are some that personal finance apps that allow you to track all expenses and even to save. We also suggest that you get a good budgeting software program to setup a budget and get your finances back on track.
Be prepared for tax season. There have been some major changes to the tax law and you need to review your various benefits to see if you still qualify for them. In the past, you were able to use your home equity line of credit interest as a deduction, no matter what the purpose of the loan was.
That no longer is true, and a deduction for this interest can be done only if the loan was used to improve the property or to acquire a residence. In addition, there no longer is a personal exemption deduction. File your return early, and if you get a refund, use it to retire debt.
Take advantage of retirement contributions. If your employer offers a 401(k), try to maximize your contribution. Often times, the employer will make a matching contribution, and this will help your retirement fund to grow even more.
It’s to your advantage to begin retirement contributions as early in life as possible in order that they will have a long time to grow. Continue to explore options that will have your retirement account well-funded.
Keep your APY high. There are many types of savings options that are better than a local bank savings account. The APY, or your annual percentage yield, can be much higher with some online savings institutions. Check them out carefully and see where you can benefit the most.
Don’t postpone this very important financial review. If you want to manage your money better, see where you need to make changes. By taking advantage of the five options in this article, you can be on your way in becoming debt free and taking control of your money.
Some Important Small Business Tips for an Annual Checkup
There are many challenges that an entrepreneur faces daily, and one of the major ones is improving cash flow. Practically every small business owner looks for ways to cut expenses and to collect money that is owed to them. Working capital is needed no matter if it happens to be in a slow period or a time of expansion. Here are a few small business tips for your annual checkup.
Getting all of your financial records together for your accountant to file your annual business tax return takes some time, but it will give you the information needed for a review. This is a good time to take stock of your business operations for the past year. You have what you need to make sure that it is operating as efficiently as it can.
Your accountant can be a big help in pointing out areas that need to be reviewed. If certain expenses appear to be out of line, he can steer you in that direction to see why. In conjunction with the preparation of the business tax returns, we offer the following small business tips that may help you increase your cash flow for the new year.
Review your business plan – You do have one, don’t you? Many View full post…
Healthcare hints: 5 savings tips for budget-conscious consumers
(BPT) – As Americans work hard to meet all the obligations that come with work, family and everyday life, many are challenged to find time to manage all the financial elements affecting their healthcare.
If you’re among them you’re far from alone, since the multiple details associated with healthcare insurance can be confusing. At the same time, you want to be smart about your financial resources when making decisions about the quality healthcare you and your family need.
Fortunately, by carving out time to research money-saving tips you may be able to minimize your out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. Such out-of-pocket spending rose by more than 50 percent between 2010 and 2017, The Atlantic recently reported, partly because half of all health insurance policyholders in the U.S. are dealing with annual deductibles of at least $1,000.
Whether you’re uninsured or simply facing a high insurance deductible, you can take several steps to better manage your healthcare budget. Consider how the following tips may offer you a better sense of control of rising View full post…
Do you still take your tax records to a CPA or other tax professional for a simple return? Each year, millions of taxpayers are taking advantage of free tax filing online at one of the online tax filing firms.
Cost and convenience are the two major reasons for this change. Having a tax professional prepare even a simple return without itemizing, can cost several hundred dollars. Traveling to and from a tax professional can be very inconvenient as compared to doing your taxes online from the comfort of your home.
You’ve probably heard about the new tax law that goes into effect for 2018 tax returns. The primary change in this law raises the standard deduction to View full post…
Posted: January 18, 2019 Under: Income Tax By: Gust Lenglet
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