5 Simple Ways to Save on your Car Loan

There are a multitude of factors that go into the total cost of owning a car. In addition to the sticker price, owners must think about insurance rates, the rising cost of fuel, and a drop in value when it comes time to resell. Another issue to consider is your car loan. Interest rates, terms, and conditions can vary considerably among lenders. It’s worth taking the time to compare all options to find the best deal on financing. By following these tips, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars over time.

1. Buy an Affordable Car

One of the first ways to lower loan payments is to purchase a car that you can really afford. Although this seems obvious, it’s advice that is not taken often enough. It’s tempting to purchase a car beyond your means with the lure of available financing, but this can come back to be a serious burden over the next few years. Take your time to compare cars at Motoring or other top review websites, and decide whether or not you need a brand new car or could settle for something slightly used.

2. Avoid Taking out a Small Loan

If you’ve found a great deal on a used car and only need to borrow a couple of thousand dollars to make your purchase, it’s probably worth waiting and saving your money if possible. Although small loans are easier to repay, the bank will charge you a higher rate of interest to make the short term loan worth their while. It’s better to dip into savings if you can afford it rather than settle for these higher interest rates.

3. Look beyond the Dealership

You may have found the perfect Subaru Forester reviewed by Motoring at your local dealership, and are ready to buy. The car dealer can be a great first point of contact when it comes to discussing financing, but they shouldn’t be your only one. Just as the Subaru dealer is acting as a middle man in the purchase of a car, they also serve as a middle man when it comes to offering financial products. As such, they won’t be able to necessarily offer you the best deal. It’s a good idea to shop around both for your car and for the best deal on financing.

4. Consider Refinancing

Whether you’re finding it difficult to keep up with car repayments or wish to pay off your loan faster, it could be worth your while to refinance the loan. If your financial circumstances change, you can apply to reduce your interest rates and potentially pay off your loan at a faster rate.

5. Make Sure Credit is in Top Shape

A major purchase like a car is something that often can’t wait. But if you have time on your hands and less than perfect credit, you could potentially put off this purchase until you’ve cleaned up your credit score. Even the difference of a few points can lead to a savings of hundreds of dollars. This is because many lenders have strict formulas to issue loans based on credit scores.

These are just a few issues to consider when you’re looking for ways to save money on your car loan repayments. By taking your time and researching all options carefully, you can improve your chances of finding an affordable financing package.

The Myth of Get Rich Quick

Stories of getting rich quick are often believed to be too good to be true, and yet they still are available. It does not matter how many times people are warned about attempting to get rich quick, people become enamored with the idea of making immediate money to take care of their financial woes.

The Wealthy Are Seen Everywhere

No matter where you go, you will see people who are financially secure. With the number of people that you see who are wealthy, it is hard not to believe that there must be a get rich quick possibility. There must be some secret method that only a few know about.

The problem is what we see is only the tip of the iceberg. We have no idea how long it took those people with a lot of money to get where they are. Those who have become successful have often gotten an education in a field with high paying positions, live within their needs, making investments, and pursuing the life they desire.

Spend Money to Get Rich

One of the most dangerous get rich schemes are the ones that require you to buy into a program. There are infomercials, books, and internet sales. We see people being successful with the program, so it must be easy. We want it to happen for us, and we believe that we have done everything possible to make it happen. It is important to realize that there is nothing in life that comes easily, everything has a catch.

Looks Can Be Deceiving

The appearance of money can be covering a mountain of debt. Everyone is so concerned about what he or she appears like, and he or she is willing to charge everything to make it happen. They will turn to bank loans, payday loans, and credit cards to have nice clothes, a nice house, nice car, and plenty of other belongings that make them appear to have a lot of money. They will eventually have to pay back all of the money they have borrowed, and that could require them to sell their nice belongings.

Only Real Get Rich Method

There are only a few ways to make money quickly in a successful manner, but most are requiring you to live on a hope and a prayer. For example, consistently putting money down on lottery tickets may end up with you winning the lottery. It is not a guarantee however, and you can quickly go broke before you get rich.

You could always inherit money, have an investment succeed, or win a lawsuit. You cannot pay the bills on a hope for getting rich with free money come in. While you do not have to buy into all of them completely, you do have to pray that there is success with the limited money you do put down.

If you desire to live the lifestyle that the wealthy enjoy, then you need to push off the idea of getting there quickly. Becoming rich takes many years and many trials to succeed.

This article was brought to you by finance writer Brent Matthews through www.cambist.co.za.

Cloud Storage Will Significantly Simplify Your Life

Cloud Storage is the best thing that will ever happen to your company. It offers multiple advantages, which greatly outweigh the disadvantages. This new technology is more efficient than traditional storage mediums, and it will ensure that you do not lose valuable information if your computer ever crashes. More and more businesses and companies have started to use cloud storage for various reasons.

First of all it is a lot cheaper than having to buy a hard-drive once every few months. Furthermore, an offsite data storage option will save companies, like digitalnetagency.com from having to pay enormous amounts of cash to replace storage devices in the purpose of making room for more data. Cloud storage services are extremely cheap, and they become even cheaper, the more memory you purchase. On the other hand, a 500 GB hard drive is expensive, and you can’t even use the entire memory available. If simple mathematics haven’t convinced you, let’s take a lot at some other great benefits.

Cloud storage occupies no physical space. Assuming that you are a small business, trying to work in an even smaller office, or you are part of an enormous corporation that is suffocated with files and storage units, the advantage of not having to keep all your information lying around senselessly is pretty reassuring. As if this weren’t enough, physical data can easily be destroyed, whereas Cloud storage units will take care of your virtual information. The worst case scenario could be a down-time from the server, but there is no risk of losing your data, at least not forever.

Speed and maneuverability are two other reasons why you should purchase Cloud storage space. Everything is literally one click away, and as long as you are organized, you will never lose anything ever again. Also, if you are part of a team, you won’t have to store lots of duplicate content on different machines, because you can share folders with the help of internet connection. This will increase productivity within a team, help share tasks and in the end, accomplish targets.

With so much mobile technology around, it should not come as a surprise that many cloud storage providers have decided to create aps for their services. As is the case with many internet marketing techniques, these providers are doing all they can to up their game, and this can only mean even more juicy features for the average user. According to some geeks, cloud storage apps like Egnyte have made it possible for business people and entrepreneurs to access their files while on the move. Available for iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle and tablets, these little aps will enable you to monitor Word, PowerPoint and Excel files, as well as PDFs, images and folders.

For security purposes, every mobile user will be asked to type a username and password every time they log on. Notification tools will also let you know if there has been any file uploaded, assuming you have internet connection.

CDs may have made Floppy disks obsolete, sticks and hard-drives may have decreased the popularity of CDs, but according to the way that the future looks right now, it might just be that Cloud storage will push hard-drives to the brink of extinction. 

Are You Making These Networking Mistakes?

HandshakesWhen seeking opportunities to advance your career, look no further than networking. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70 percent of all jobs are found this way. But the art of networking is not just about finding a great job. The goal is to create long-term business relationships. It seems simple but often people fumble and force networking interactions. Understand and avoid the following common networking mistakes.

You Only Network on the Job Hunt

There may be networking mistakes you don’t know you’re making. One common misconception is that networking only occurs when you are searching for a job.  But networking is all about creating and maintaining relationships. You wouldn’t start a romantic relationship by asking the person to marry you. The same is true in networking. Trust must be built before you can ask for favors, let alone a job. Therefore, effective networking should occur at all times, even when you are happily employed.

You are Clueless About the Goal

It’s difficult to accomplish anything without setting goals. When you walk into a networking event, make sure you know what you are seeking to gain. Do you want a job?  Are you seeking a mentor within the industry? People will expect you to have a unique outlook and reason for making connections.

It’s poor networking etiquette to lead with a pitch. It will always come off aggressive to someone who is just getting to know you. Instead, lead with a bit about yourself and try to find a connection naturally. Keep conversation primarily focused on business, but don’t be afraid to talk about other aspects of your life. Being open to personal conversation is an excellent way to build trust. While the first interaction should be noncommittal, it’s still important to be prepared with a business card that explains who you are and what you do. Make sure that the card expresses your personal style while remaining clean and concise in its presentation, because it will trigger a connection’s memory of your interaction.

You are Inconsiderate

This is not just a rule for networking. It’s a rule for all social interactions. If you approach a person at a networking event with a pompous attitude, your message will be rejected and you’ll probably be ostracized by this person and their contacts. So, don’t try to show off by telling them a
bout all of your achievements. They should come to understand your credibility naturally as your relationship grows.

Showing gratitude is one of the most important rules of networking etiquette. This can be as simple as saying thank you after your first conversation with a contact. It seems easy, but gratitude is often overlooked by people who are new to the networking game. Say you go out for coffee with a new contact to get business advice about breaking into their industry. The meeting went well, but a month passes with no follow-up. What kind of impression does that leave? The person probably feels unappreciated, like you are the one who never called after a first date. Don’t be that guy. Always follow up with an email, phone call or hand written note. It’s important that the notes are thoughtful and include specific things the two of you discussed. If you show courtesy to a new contact, your good impression will probably last until your next meeting.

Many people follow these rules but find that that their personality does not lend itself to networking. If you are an introvert, check out How to Network: 12 Tips for Shy People. Remember networking is about building relationships. It doesn’t happen overnight. So start small and don’t give up on the endless business opportunities out there.

Photo credit: Ambro on Freedigitalphotos.net

Getting Creative with Your Holiday Budget

Most of us aren’t good at creating an overall budget for the year, much less tempering our spending during the stressful and demanding holiday season.  And yet, the two go hand in hand, because when your annual budget is in order, you can put aside money throughout the year to cover the glut of spending that occurs at the end of the year (so you don’t find yourself entering yet another New Year bogged down with holiday debt).  So if you’re dreading the orgy of spending that awaits you in the coming weeks, perhaps it’s time to step back, assess your financial situation, and take a different tack this year than you have in the past.  Here are just a few ways to get creative with your holiday budget so that you don’t overspend.

  1. Be realistic.  If you track your expenses at all, then you have a pretty good idea what you can actually afford to spend this holiday season.  And whether you set your budget at $100 or $1,000, there are ways to stick to it.  The idea is to meet your financial obligations first (mortgage, utilities, transportation, food, and so on) and see what you have leftover.  For most people this isn’t going to be much, especially if they haven’t been saving throughout the year, but once you have your budget set you can find ways to work with it.
  2. Put away the plastic.  There is no better way to ensure you pay a lot more for every purchase than by using a credit card.  You may be thinking about how many great deals are out there when you whip out the plastic, but consider for a moment just how long you’ll be paying on those purchases.  Even if you pay it down each month and don’t spend any more after the holidays, you payments could be spread out over several months, meaning the $100 worth of stuff you buy in December could end up costing you a lot more by June of next year.
  3. Consider charity.  If you only have a small amount of money to dedicate to family and friends, you can do the most good by donating it to a charitable cause in the name of your loved ones.  In this way you can all give to families that have even greater needs than you this holiday season, and isn’t that really what it’s all about?  You may just want to let people know about your intentions ahead of time so that they don’t feel the need to buy you a gift.
  4. DIY gifts.  If you find that the gifting experience is half the fun of the season, you can save money by spending time.  Instead of opting for consumer goods, get your family together one weekend to create gifts baskets with ornaments, photos, homemade cards, and baked goods.  You could even include some easy beeswax candles or jars of scented bath salts (simple recipes can be found online).  Your family and friends are sure to love the personal touches and it can save you a ton of dough.
  5. Go for gift cards.  Gift cards are a great way to save time, stick to your budget, and make sure that everyone gets exactly what they want.  And pre paid Visa cards ensure that recipients can go to the store of their choice.  It’s less mess and less stress all around.

Evan Fischer writes for Get Debit where you can compare and contrast debit cards like the Account Now Visa, to find the best fit for you.

The Mountainous Health Benefits of Mountain Biking

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Anyone’s first thought on seeing a mountain bike whizzing down an almost vertical trail is that they probably won’t live to see out the week. However, this pursuit includes both downhill and cross country riding that, beyond giving you an opportunity to take in the natural beauty of the English countryside, is also well-known for its health benefits. Here are some of the advantages of this form of exercise.

Strength
Cyclists may look somewhat like Tyrannosaurus Rex with their tiny arms and gigantic thighs, but this is evidence in itself of the benefits of mountain biking to leg strength. It also works the buttocks and strengthens tendons, while the need for balance also means it strengths your core.

Lose Weight
When most people think of losing weight, running is the first form of exercise that springs to mind. However, and beyond how self-conscious some people will feel next to the toned athletes effortlessly gliding past them, the high-impact nature of running puts huge pressure on the knees of those carrying extra pounds. Mountain Biking does not and is, as such, a very good activity for weight loss.

Cardiovascular Benefits
A fit heart and lungs benefits the entire body and mountain biking is a form of exercise that allows you to push this system to the maximum. This means that over time you will be able to do more exercise for less effort – the holy grail for anyone really – while research has also found that 3 hours of biking per week reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke by as much as 50%

Low-Impact 

Since less clumsy people will be sitting on the bike for most of this activity, load bearing is taken away from your body. Indeed the very act of sitting means that weight is also taken off the knees. As such, this exercise is great for older people who have destroyed their knees over years of practicing high-impact sports like running. This feature of the exercise also means that it is good for people who are returning from injury.

Reduce the Risk Of Cancer

It is certainly the case that all exercise is good for reducing the risk of cancer, but studies have shown that cycling is particularly good in this regard. Rather than having to go out on an intense ride every day to take advantage here, Finnish researchers say that simply 30 hours a day is more than enough to this end.

Mountain biking is preferable to its cycling counterpart, in that being done away from roads, you sidestep the risks of both motorists and pollution. Enthusiasts love spending a day in the great outdoors and it can be a great social activity that allows you to get closer to friends and loved ones. There are still dangers however and specialist mountain biking stores can advice you on the right clothing and safety equipment.

Being off the beaten track also means that knowing your way around a map and compass is important, so that you don’t get lost, and to carry food, water and warm clothing in case you do. And, while many associate insurance with road cycling, the dangers that mountain biking poses are greater than bruises and scratches and, as such, it is important to look into mountain bike insurance so that you are prepared for wherever the trail takes you.

The author is an avid cross country mountain biking fan after his devil may care attitude at PORC on his first downhill trail resulted in a week in a hospital and scars he still bears 15 years later. His health and mountain biking blogs can be found scattered around the World Wide Web.

Office Moves – A Brief Guide For Growing Businesses

Growing Businesses

Moving office is rather like moving home. It’s highly unlikely to be fun, but the degree of pain depends on how well it is managed. Here is a brief guide to minimizing the pain.

Clear Out Your Clutter

If you’ve been in an office for a while, the chances are that your office has accumulated plenty of stuff you could well live without. Get rid of it. If you’re office is full of paper, then either organize it, archive it, digitize it or destroy it. If you really need a lot of paper-based information, then that’s fine as long as it’s organized ready for the move, but these days most companies don’t.

It may well be cheaper, as well as tidier, to have someone come in and undertake mass scanning and organizing of documents, rather than taking them with you in paper form when you move or paying to archive them if you don’t actually need them in paper form.

Get staff to clear their desks properly too. If they are using them to store personal property, it’s their responsibility to move it.

Organize New Stationery And Give Contacts Plenty Of Notice Of Your Move Date

These days companies tend to be contactable through a variety of channels. These channels include paper, telephone, e-mail, internet and social media. Many of these details will stay the same when you move, but anything which contains your address will need to be updated. Now is a good time to go through your corporate address book and make sure that any important contacts are informed of your move well in advance.

Obviously you will need to make sure your staff know the details of their new office as soon as possible as they will need to see how it affects their travel plans.

Organize Your IT Move

Given that IT equipment is integral to most organizations these days, it may be best to hand over the task of moving anything IT-related, including phones, to a company which will do it with maximum tidiness and minimal disruption. You want to avoid your staff sitting twiddling their thumbs when they move into their new office because the computers don’t work.

If equipment is being leased, you will need to contact the supplier to make arrangements for it to be moved.

Get Staff To Pack Their Own Desks

There are several reasons for doing this, chief among which is to encourage people to clear out their stuff. Provide each member of staff with one moving bin, but be prepared to supply more on request. The key word is request. If you’ve supplied a reasonably-sized bin, most members of staff should be able to get their work items into it without a problem. If staff then ask for an extra bin, you can check that they have a legitimate reason for needing it.

Another good reason is that it puts the onus on staff to remember to pack anything and everything they need. When they’re finished, seal and sign the bin with them and have them open it themselves at the other end. This helps to encourage ownership and to avoid misunderstandings.

Make Special Arrangements For Special Items

The definition of special item will depend on your office. It could be anything from office pictures to favourite plants. Often the simplest option is to go for small van hire. London and other major cities usually have  plenty of options.

The author has been though house moves, office moves, desk moves and job moves. None of them were enjoyable but so far she’s managed to survive them. She has no plans to move anything for the immediate future, although she does need to clear out the clutter in her current house.

Managing Across Cultures – A Brief Guide

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These days even the smallest businesses often find themselves working across cultures, which by extension means those in charge of the businesses need to manage across cultures. Whether it’s dealing with tourist complaints, liaising with international suppliers or managing international off-sourced staff, either on site or remotely, managers need to be aware that cultures differences do play a role in the modern workplace. Here are some tips on dealing with this.

Understand When You Should Adapt To Other Cultures And Vice Versa

A quote often attributed to an anonymous German salesman is “When I’m selling, I’ll speak your language. When I’m buying, you speak mine.”  This holds true in large part when it comes to managing across cultures.

As with many parts of life, the reality is often somewhat more complicated. Even if you are buying, you may well value your relationship with your supplier. At the same time, when you are selling, there may be limits on how far you are prepared to go to adapt to your customer’s requests, particularly if these have the potential to upset your other customers or your staff.

The basic guideline is to think about how straightforward it would be to accommodate cultural requirements and then, buying or selling, don’t sweat the small stuff. When you get into more major requirements, think about the inconvenience of accommodating the request versus the benefit to you and be prepared to negotiate or even tactfully refuse if it is a step too far.

Understand English Is Not One Language

While English may currently be the language of the internet and, for all practical purposes, the language of international communication, it is not a unified language. While native UK speakers will generally understand their U.S. counterparts quite happily, even amongst native speakers, there can be confusion. Increasingly people who learn English as a second language will be exposed to English from a variety of sources. For example many countries abroad show English-language programs in the original language on certain channels. The language used in these programs will depend on the country of origin.

With this in mind, when dealing with people who speak English as a second language, it’s best to keep communication as simple as possible. Avoid slang and ensure that you are clear about facts. Remember that the Imperial system is only really used in English-speaking countries, most other countries use metric. Also remember to be clear about times if you’re managing across time zones. Do you mean your time or theirs?

For Important Meetings Read Up On Culture-Specific Body Language

The reason why misunderstandings are easier to spot by e-mail than by phone and by phone than by in person is because we rely hugely on feedback from the other party when we are in a dialogue with them. On the phone we at least have vocal feedback to guide us, but even this varies between cultures. A greeting which is formal and polite in one culture may be brusque to the point of rudeness in another. Forget about taking notes; use a company like Take1 transcription to make a record of the meeting. Keep all your attention on managing the meeting and in particular making sure your own body language is appropriate to the situation.

The author has travelled, studied, worked and lived all over the world and is currently taking a break from globe-trotting by settling in Scotland, at least for now. She works as a freelance writer and translator, which could be helpful in future travel plans. When not working she enjoys walking her dog.

What to consider before taking an unsecured loan

Unsecured Loan

An unsecured loan is a type of a loan that requires no collateral when obtaining one. It is solely supported by the credit worthiness of the borrower and therefore borrowers must have relatively high credit ratings to secure one. They are also sometimes referred to us personal loans, signature loans or even payday loan Singapore. Since they are not secured by any property, they are high risks and hence attract higher interest rates than other normal loans. They can be obtained from credit unions and banks.

What to consider before taking an unsecured loan.

1. The rate of interest charged.

These types of loans attract a higher rate of interest due to their unsecured nature. It is important to consider if a borrower can be able to pay and afford the extra money charged.

2. Customers credit worthiness

These loans are secured by the credit worthiness of a borrower and so a potential borrower should be able to check his or her credit worthiness since he approval of his or her loan will be made available by his high credit ratings.

3. Other loan alternatives.

It is prudent for a borrower to first check any other loan alternative before taking an unsecured loan since these ones usually have high amounts of repayments.

4. Hidden charges

Most loans come with other hidden charges than are not made known to you by your bank. Such charges might include processing fees, ledger fees, insurance premiums, penalty charges among others which increase the installments payable. It is important to enquire from your financial provider of any such charges to effectively determine the cost of taking the loan.

5. The application process

The process getting a loan is usually long, complicated and tedious. It is important for a borrower to know the procedures and processes required for application so that he can make an informed decision on when to apply the loan depending on his specific need and at the right time.

6. Documents needed for application and approval

Loans require a lot of documentation for approval, and a customer will have his or her loan approval very fast if all his or her documentation is in order.

7. Repayment period

The repayment period is important because it helps to spread out the installments amounts and also shows how much you can be able to pay monthly. The longer the repayment period, the less installment amounts and the less expensive the loan will be.

8. Need for the loan

It is important for a borrower to ascertain the purpose and the need of the loan to prevent the misuse of funds once the loan has been approved. The borrower should check if it is necessary to take the loan and the possible returns attained for taking the loan.

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5 Important Types of Insurance that you should consider when Traveling

Traveling is not always fun and enjoyment, as most of the time, when you are visiting a new place, there are always certain risk factors that might ruin your vacation. From natural disasters to troubles powered by fellow humans, you never know what might strike you when you’re traveling. Since you can’t prevent the unseen, you must always take precautionary measures when traveling abroad. Travel insurance is something you must consider and invest in, whenever you or your family travels abroad for a vacation. There are several types of travel insurance, five of which are listed below. Take a look at these types, and find out about the available option from any credible insurance company in your city and finalize the details, before you set foot into another country.

1). Single Trip Protection Insurance

If you and your family are traveling for the first time to any new destination of the world, this insurance policy will cover all expenses in case of sudden trip cancellation or interruptions. It will also cover medical travel expenses as part of an additional coverage. This means, if you have to cancel travel plans due to illness, the expenses will be reimbursed. Other issues that might result in loss and expense such as delayed trips, travel company bankruptcy or airline strikes will all be covered by the trip protection travel insurance.

2). Annual Trip Insurance

People who are always on the move from one country to another, annual trip insurance is a must. Companies that offer this insurance differs in terms of number of days or number of trips which will be covered. With annual trip insurance, you can get some pretty good discounts, and since its mainly professionals who go on multiple trips a year, additional coverage such as business cover and sport covers are also included.  You will have to get in touch with multiple insurance companies and opt for the one that suits your traveling needs the best.

3). Medical Travel Insurance

Traveling abroad, you definitely can’t ignore this one. Anything that happens to you in a foreign country; the expenses will be covered by this medical travel insurance. For cases where you would face hospitalization or expensive treatment, you would be so relieved of all costs through this insurance. For the record, this also covers all form accidental death expenses and returns the amount in the event of death.

4). Luggage/Property Insurance

Cases of stolen and lost or damaged properties are often seen during vacations and therefore it is important to have your items insured. However, read the fine print very carefully when you sign on for this kind of insurance, because there are some items that companies wouldn’t cover. If you plan to rent a car in the visiting country, make sure you have got that insured as well. In case of any accident, you will be saved from lots of hassle. Some companies will also offer services for lost or stolen passports, so always seek proper guidance when you get this kind of insurance.

5). Worldwide Travel Insurance

Planning to go around the world in eighty days? Then make sure you get a worldwide travel insurance package in place. Mention specifically the countries you will be visiting and whether it’s a single-trip insurance or an annual trip insurance. If it’s a single trip around the world, you will get all the facilities mentioned in the single trip insurance with additional coverage such as winter sports cover or snowboard insurance cover.

Never set out traveling without having proper insurance policies. Though some will consider it an added expense, it is actually an investment that would be beneficial for you, in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Joel Klein is a Travel Writer, who writes on topics related to travel and finance. For travelers, the currency conversion rates matter a lot, here’s a currency converter that you can use when planning to travel.

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