Financial Planning Tools Deciphered

Financial planning is a necessary thing for all people. Many people have a hard time knowing where to start, and having the right financial planning tools at your disposal is helpful. Here are some great financial planning tools to help you reach your financial goals.

The first financial planning tool is the most important. That is a good, workable budget. You cannot reach your financial goals if you do not have a plan to get there. A budget will help you to allocate your funds in such a way that will satisfy your debts and help you plan for the future.

The next weapon in your arsenal of financial planning tools is a savings account. Although you should have other investments, a savings account is a place to park your liquid cash so that you have easy access and are earning some interest at the same time. Check with your bank to find out what different levels of savings accounts are offered. Many are on a tiered scale, meaning that the more money you have in them, the more interest you earn. You may need to upgrade your account from time to time though.

Third, check your credit report. Many web sites offer you a “for fee” credit report, but you should also know that you are guaranteed a free credit report from the three major credit bureaus once a year from the government web site annualcreditreport.com. If you feel you need to check it more often, then a fee-based credit report service may be the way to go.

The next thing to manage is your debt. Although this can be daunting, it’s a necessary part of establishing financial security. A few financial planning tools can help make this easier for you. For most people, credit cards are a necessity today to at least some extent. However, for smartest use, you should carry only one or two, pay off the balance every month, and use the credit card companies’ competitiveness to get such perks as no annual fee. If for some reason you must carry a balance, pay it off as soon as possible. You should never use your credit card to help you live beyond your means. Only use your credit card to make shopping convenient and provide such things as buyer protection, but treat the purchases you make with your credit card just as you would those with cash. Many people who carry credit cards but who pay off balances each month make note of and “deduct” money for credit card purchases from checking accounts each month as they go, so that they don’t spend cash on hand that’s meant to go toward credit card payments at the end of the month. Then, at the end of the month, they pay the credit bill, but the credit card balance has already been deducted from checking throughout the month, so they are essentially writing one check for the total of their purchases throughout the month.

Fifth, one of your most major bills is probably your rent or your mortgage. Of the two, a mortgage payment usually better for you, since you can usually deduct interest you pay on your mortgage from your taxes. When interest rates drop or some other financial situation arises where refinancing would be a good option for you, make sure you check into this and refinance if possible, in order to lower your mortgage payments. Usually, the most prudent way to handle a refinancing is to roll your refinance savings into your mortgage, so that you save on the mortgage itself rather than taking the cash out to spend on something else. This will save you up to several years on mortgage payments, depending on the length of your loan.

One of the greatest financial planning tools for anyone is to have a good retirement plan. If you are working, you should be contributing to your employer’s 401K plan. You should have a diversified plan that will allow you to save enough for retirement while still allowing you to meet your current obligations. The earlier you begin, the harder your money will work for you.

A few good financial planning tools can help you manage your money wisely. Make sure to do your homework and take advantage of all the resources available to you. There are many financial planning tools out there for free or at nominal cost on the Internet. In addition, your financial institution also has financial planning tools that you can use. If you use these tools wisely, you’ll get the most out of your money.

Teenage Gambling Addiction Education Needed At Local Schools

For the past few years teenage gambling has been increasing at an exponential rate. The increase in gambling can be contributed to family members who gamble, multiple television programs like poker tournaments and skillful advertising from the gambling establishments. It’s becoming an epidemic among our teenagers with no real solution being presented to the educators of our schools systems.

The new stream of commercials related to stop gambling has had very little affect. The commercials are geared towards helping people stop gambling but are not geared towards the individuals who have not experienced gambling at this point in time. The stop gambling commercials have not been able to reach the teenager with a compulsive gambling addiction. They however may reach the parents who may realize their child has a problem.

The only way to help our youth is to educate them in the classroom and at home. I remember years ago in health class they educated us on smoking and drinking. This was very effective on those individuals who never started. But the ones that were already addicted the educational programs were unable to reach them.

There following educational curriculums are needed for today’s students:

a)Helpful Resources for identifying teenagers who may have a compulsive gambling addiction.

b)Helping Teenagers identify their compulsive gambling addiction

c)Educating teenagers on compulsive gambling addiction. This one is my favorite because this has the best opportunity to prevent a teenager from gambling, helping teenagers identify the signs of compulsive gambling addiction and if the teenager has a problem with gambling.

d)Giving Teenagers the tools to identify others who may have a gambling addiction like their parents. This one has to be handled sensitively. I have received numerous emails from teenagers who did not know where to go, who to talk to in order to help a family member.

e)Educating Teenagers on the resources available to get help by giving them the local stop gambling telephone numbers and helpful stop gambling websites.

f)Understanding Compulsive Gambling Addiction

g)Practical exercises for teenagers with addictions to learn about self esteem, trust and more.

The above educational curriculums are needed to help educate the teenage population.

As each year passes the amount of teenager’s addicted to gambling increases. This increase is due to the increased exposure. This exposure is due to the increase in the number of cable and television gambling programs, advetising by local gambling establishements, retailers jumping on poker craze selling poker chips, the increase in the number of state lotto drawings per day and the state advertising for their scratch off tickets.

Calculate Needs Before Buying Insurance

Insurance mis-selling is prevalent and is damaging the development of the industry. In fact, majority of insurance experts accepted this fact on various occasions. Generally, intermediaries are the first to be responsible for it especially an agent who sells only those products that earn maximum commission. It is considered as the most popular reasoning in Indian insurance sector. However, there are various other reasons why a customer ends up purchasing a wrong policy. It means that it is not always mis-selling but sometimes mis-buying’ as well.
It may happen because of lack of awareness, buying insurance just to save tax and using policy as a tax saving tool. Some challenges are also experienced by financial planners as well to convenience customers why a product is correct for them, to get the right and full information from them for exact assessment of their profile and portfolio. To handle these procedural challenges, a few years ago, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority had proposed doing a customer need analysis’ before selling a life insurance policy. In January 2012, IRDA’s draft guidelines introduced and also proposed a mandate on intermediaries and the insurers to fill-up a standard need-analysis worksheet of the buyer before it affects sale of term insurance.
It was to make sure that the plan which is proposed to be sold is suitable for the prospect and fulfills policyholder’s requirements. Also, this is aimed at handling under-insurance and is widespread among insurance customers. Though, the proposal has not been implemented in the proposed format, a few insurance companies in India have introduced a few need analysis features. Different needs arise at different age stages, so this tool works by understanding the life stage customer is at, single, married, married with a child, nearing retirement and life after retirement are some very common stages in a product matrix.
Protection requirements are analyzed when customers have chosen life stages. For example, person with a child has more insurance needs as compared young, single person who does not have any dependents. These protection requirements reduce when dependents become independent and loans are paid. Customer’s next step should be assessing their targets and motive of purchasing insurance. Do you want to buy a policy for child’s future education requirements or accumulate a corpus for post-retirement life? Do not forget that the need for investment and savings are connected to the achievement of different financial goals and the plan customer buy must be able to fulfill these needs.
Generally, the need for regular income arises after retirement and customers also need more health cover with advancing age. The analysis tool will help buyers to calculate exact needs as per their goals and prioritization. There are several online tools available for goal-based long term wealth creation, retirement planning and health insurance requirements. A pension plan will be more important as compared to short-term goals such as buying a vehicle or a foreign tour. Those who do not have sufficient life insurance coverage should buy addition protection in terms of rider plans.

Commercial Van Insurance Explained

Van Insurance Groups work in similarly as Car and Motorcycle Insurance Groups – and it is these that the Insurance Industry usage to

determine the classification of your non-commercial or business car.Cheapest Van

Insurance With Insurance boost by over 22 percent in 2010/2011 – it is no surprise to learn that numerous otherwise the

majority of car producers are searching for means to lower the Van Insurance Group classifications, to get their automobile much more

affordable in this challenging monetary market.

With Vans and Commercial Vehicles alike, the Insurance Categories provided to the manufacturers is established by the ABI (Association of

British Insurers) and Thatcham – the protection accreditation specialists.Cheapest Van

Insurance Group Unlike motorcycles and vehicles, the modest van has an overview just insurance ranking as a result of

the quantity of uses which business cars can be utilized for. Despite the fact that this is one-of-a-kind to the business vehicle industry, it

likewise passes on to vehicles and bikes where the usage is categorized “for business use.”.

Five Home Improvement Tips To Help You Transform Your House Into A Stylish Home

When deciding to transform your house into a stylish home, you can use different approaches to the various parts of the house in order to minimize your renovation costs.

- The Interior Design Approach

1. One approach that you can employ is by focusing your renovation design towards your staircase. You can change the design of your staircase to make it appear more cozy and modern or use wooden materials with carving designs to have a more traditional and yet stylish look. Redesigning your staircase would also depend on which part of your house, it is located.

2. Once you have redesigned your staircase, the part of the house where it is located should also follow to match with it. If it’s in the living room, then the living room should be redesigned as well. In renovating your living room, you can repaint the walls to match the color of your staircase railings. If the railings are made of wood, then it would best to have a wall paint colored beige or other variants of earth colors. If you still prefer a light colored wall, you can repaint the base of the wall with a darker tone of brown.

3. Aside from transforming the staircase or the ceiling you may also redesign the flooring of your house. A quick and easy way of doing this is by replacing your old flooring with laminate floorings. You can choose from the variety of materials that are used for laminate flooring. For example, if your theme is the more traditional look, then you may use the laminate flooring which resembles wooden parquet flooring. If you are looking for a more environmentally sound floor, then one of the incredibly stylish and durable bamboo flooring options currently on the market may well be a better choice.

- Transforming by Changing the Furniture

4. If renovating the entire interior of the house is too costly for your budget, you may opt to buy new furniture to replace those old and tired looking pieces that are an eyesore. You can purchase new designs of living room sofas with matching sleek and modern center and side tables. 5. You can also purchase a made to order bar if your living room has more space to accommodate this. A living room bar adds excitement and style to any boring traditionally styled living rooms.

So there you have it, five simple yet extremely effective tips for transforming your house into a stylish home. Have fun!

Loads Of Enjoyment With Online Games

The internet has become a major source of gaming content with the passage of time. Just like the games that can be installed and played on the computer, the online games also need a computer to run. The main reason why online games are now taking over the local computer games includes their wider range and easier availability. It is possible to enjoy racing games like truck games and car games to even bike games and unicycle racing games. Then there are traditional classics like card games, casino games and highly popular arcade games which give a hint of the days of gaming long gone by.

The thing that is important to know about online games is that online games are not just about playing. There are complete communities built around these games. You can find blogs and discussion forums about online games which are extremely helpful in enjoying the game to the max. In case you are stuck somewhere and need some help or if you have developed some nice trick or strategy that you want to share, these forums and blogs are just the place. Above all, you can find reviews about the games that you should play and the games that you should avoid.

Playing online games is extremely exciting and at the same time, extremely challenging. The adrenaline pumping that you can receive by playing online games can not be paralleled by anything else. There are a number of people who are involved in playing games online. You can easily find competition and you can also find allies for your games.

The best thing about online games is that you can find free online games. You have to look for them though. Most of the online gaming sites provide you a subscription model. In this case, you would get a free trial membership that would last for anywhere between a week to a month. After this, you would have to cough up money to keep on playing games online. Creating a new account would not help because you would not be able to transfer your game levels and statistics from the old user account to the new user account. The thing is that free online games are available. While they are not exactly free because they are being sponsored by advertising on the site. You would have to look for the games that are completely free and not just a ‘free trial’.

There is an endless variety of online games that you can play – from games as simple as Texas Hold’em Up Poker that allows you to gamble against other players to games like Chess where you pitch you gray cells against the power of a computer or the brains of other people. After you have finished a long and tiring day of work, online games can be the perfect way to vent your frustration and make yourself fit and free for another day at work. With online games, you can easily get fast track entertainment at almost no cost.

Understanding Your Current Personal Finance Situation

It is important: understanding your current personal finance situation is something that every person needs to do. By understanding what is going on with your personal finances you will be able to better control them. This can be one of the best ways to avoid money problems and debt.

Getting started is the hardest part. It can seem almost impossible to figure out where to begin when tackling finance issues. The best place to start is to simply look at expenses and income.

As the staples of a good budget, something every person should have, expenses and income are the main financial issues a person needs to understand. To begin you should gather all the relevant information. You may want to get bills, pay stubs and anything else that could help you list out your expenses and income.

The first thing to do is to track your daily expenses. This includes eating out, shopping and gasoline. You want to include these on your expenses list. You may need to gather receipts or actually keep a log for a week to be able to come up with an accurate account of your daily expenses.

Write out a list of expenses and then write out your list of income. At this point you should concern yourself with ensuring everything is listed. If your expenses or income vary then try to get a good average. You should have expenses separated into daily expenses and monthly expenses so you can see where your money is really going. Plus this will help when you go to budget your money.

Now you can begin to look at your debt. You should make out a list of your creditors. Your list should include the creditors contact information, the balance of your debt and the interest rate.

Now you should look at your personal finance accounts. This includes things like checking, savings and stocks. You want to list them all, including their current value or balance.

After going through your expenses, income, debt and personal finance accounts you should have a fairly good idea of where your personal finance matters stand. This should be a great platform for you to build upon to get your personal finances in good order. From this information you should be able to create a budget, get debt under control and best manage your personal finance accounts. You should be able to get the big picture about your personal finance situation and to understand it completely.

Easy Card Games To Entertain

My own experience makes me feel that every child will benefit from playing card games.

It is a healthy experience for a child to play with grownups as an equal; and to play with other children without noticing difference in age.

It is good for the child’s character to get practice in losing without squawking and in winning without crowing. (Many adults could use some of this practice too!)

A young child can learn about numbers and easy arithmetic from a simple card game. A child of any age can exercise his brain by the logical thinking that is needed in the more advanced games.

Moreover, card games are fun. And this is the best of all reasons for teaching them to children.

These games are for children who are too young to think… and for grownups who would rather not think! Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether the children or the grownups laugh harder!

PIG

This is a very hilarious game for children or for adults to play with children. Anybody can learn the game in two or three minutes, and one extra minute makes you an expert!

Number of Players: 3 to 13. Five or 6 make the best game.

Cards: Four of a kind for each player in the game. For example, 5 players would use 20 cards: 4 Aces, 4 Kings, 4 Queens, 4 Jacks, and 4 10′s. For 6 players you would add the four 9′s.

The Deal: Any player shuffles and deals 4 cards to each player.

Object: To get 4 of a kind in your own hand, or to be quick to notice it when somebody else gets 4 of a kind.

The Play: Each player looks at his hand to see if he was dealt 4 of a kind. If nobody has 4 of a kind, each player puts some unwanted card face down on the table and passes it to the player at his left, receiving a card at the same time from the player at his right.

Each player looks at his hand as it appears with the newly-received card. If, still, nobody has 4 of a kind, each player once again passes a card to the left and gets a new card from the right.

The play is continued in this way until some player has 4 of a kind in his hand. That player stops passing or receiving cards since he is satisfied with his hand as it is. Instead of playing on, he puts his finger to his nose.

The other players must be quick to notice this, and each of them must stop passing in order to put a finger to his nose. The last player to put a finger to his nose is the Pig.

DONKEY

This is the same game as Pig, except that when a player gets 4 of a kind he puts his hand face down on the table quietly instead of putting his finger to his nose. He still gets a card from his right and just passes that along to the left, leaving his 4 of a kind untouched on the table.

As each player sees what has happened, he likewise puts his hand down quietly. The idea is to keep up the passing and the conversation while some player plays on without realizing that the hand has really ended.

The last player to put his cards down loses the hand. This makes him a D. The next time he loses, he becomes a D-O. The third time, he becomes a D-O-N. This keeps on, until finally some player becomes a D-O-N-K-E-Y.

Board Games Aimed At Teenagers

While there are board games made for every age range possible, there is a special market made for games which are geared toward teenagers. Many times, these games will be themed according to different forms of media which may be popular with teenagers of the day. The teenage years can be a time during which many children are trying to find themselves and often, they will express little interest in traditional board games. However, when there are games built around something that they are interested in, they might be more inclined to play one.

The popular High School Musical franchise has given board games a number of opportunities to base games off of the idea. It has produced a game based on a “Mystery Date,” where players must race around the board, getting ready for a mystery blind date with one of the boys from High School Musical. Not only is the person of the date in question, but whether the player can even be ready for the date in time is one of the driving forces of the game. Whichever player can race around the board and complete all of their tasks in time will be the winner.

Another High School Musical game is one in which players have to prepare and be ready for the audition. Trying out for the school play was the major theme in the High School Musical movie and in this game, players can feel the same rush of emotions as the characters of the movie did, trying to perform well and land the part. These games give teenagers a chance to experience some of the fun of one of their favorite movies while still giving them the opportunity to interact with each other in a safe manner.

Other, popular action movies can also provide the chance for some fun games to be produced. Pirates of the Caribbean and Transformers have both given their images to a number of games. You could find a Pirates of the Caribbean edition of Life or a Transformers edition of Risk. These games take the excitement of the movies they are based on and allow different teenagers to feel the same thrill they might have found in the theaters in the comfort of their own home. Again, they allow teenagers the chance to interact with each other in an environment which is safe and might keep them out of trouble which they may otherwise get themselves into.

This isn’t to say that traditional games aren’t popular with teenagers as well. Monopoly and Clue can both provide a fun night for any number of people. Teenagers aren’t exempt from this; they only sometimes need an extra little push into feeling like they are allowed to simply enjoy a board game. There is a lot of pressure on teenagers to conform to certain ideas and peer pressure can be high. Playing board games isn’t usually one of those things that teenagers can be pressured into by their friends. However, when the game is something that all of the teenagers will enjoy, it is much easier to convince them to play the games.

The 7 Steps Of Do-it-yourself Financial Planning

You are in control

You are already your own financial planner. Regardless of the extent of help you receive from professionals, you ultimately are the decision maker and you are responsible for your own finances. Although the financial world has become increasingly complex, it is becoming easier today to do a lot of your own planning. The variety of resources has expanded such as software for money management and planning; online tools for banking, financial planning and investing, and resources, and books and blogs that are easy to understand. These resources may be good news for you if the cost of professional fee only financial planners is out-of-reach to you. Besides the cost of fees, others may avoid planners because they have heard stories of advisors trying to sell a product that didn’t fit their situation. Cost savings and avoiding product pitches are excellent benefits of being your own planner.

Everyone should take a more active role in their financial affairs. Not only does it help with educated decision making and fraud avoidance it also helps you better communicate with your other professional advisors such as your accountant and attorney. You will also find yourself spotting opportunities when they cross your path.

Becoming a better manager of your family’s finances will also help you ‘dig out’ if you are struggling financially. When you consider the low savings rates and the high household debt, many more people find themselves in this category today.

The following are 7 steps to do-it-yourself financial planning:

Step 1: Commit

The first step to financial planning always begins with commitment. Whether you are having financial difficulty, or have just avoided setting goals and mapping out a plan – commitment is the first step. Commitment provides the discipline and focus needed to help sustain you on the path towards your goals.

Step 2: Set Goals

Without specific goals and a plan to achieve them financial success stays a foggy dream. Therefore the second step is to list the dreams that will motivate you. Write down all of the goals you want to achieve in the short and long term. This will serve as the driver, or the fire in the engine giving you the motivation to move forward. Everyone has dreams, but without constant watering and attention dreams will go dormant. Leave your past mistakes and inaction behind you, light a new fire and chart a course forward. You have an enormous amount of potential and talent, and if you have made mistakes you now have more experience and wisdom. Dare to imagine what you could achieve because your best years are ahead of you.

Step 3: Assemble and Organize Information

Get your stuff together. Planning is easier if you assemble everything in one central location. Make an organized filing system either in a cabinet, accordion file, a box, any way that works for you. Now locate and file all of your tax returns, receipts, insurance policies, contracts, wills, mortgages, deeds, titles, pay stubs, employee benefit statements, banking (loan, savings and checking), bills, investment and retirement plan statements and any other important papers.

Step 4: Manage Cash Flow

Your household is a business. You need to know how much you are earning and spending each month. Balance your checkbook and establish a budget. There are dozens of books and software to help with this, and your bank’s website may provide this as well. This will help you know when and where you are overspending.

Step 5: Self Educate

Establish a sound foundational knowledge base about financial matters. Start with books about budgeting and money savings tips, debt, basic insurance and investing. Be sure to include reading about mutual funds and financial planning. Avoid get-rich-quick, real estate, gold or innovative ‘secrets’ books. Stick to the fundamentals. I find the “For Dummies, ‘For Idiots’ and ‘D-Mystified’ book series to be very helpful for many people. Lastly, stay informed about current financial topics by reading financial magazines, newspapers, the business section of papers, and blogs.

Step 6: Create a Written Plan

A written plan serves as a road map towards your financial destination. It helps you understand where you are presently and the steps that you need to take to move forward. A financial plan is a process. Your life will change, therefore you should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. You should revisit your financial plan at least once a year to make any updates or to include items in your checklist for completion. If you write your own financial plan, you will have to obtain financial planning software. Your other options are to pay to have a written financial plan completed by a fee financial planner or by an institution or professional that provides products. Be sure to find out about how the planner is compensated and what your fees will be.

Step 7: Engage Professionals

Most people can’t entirely do all of their financial planning by themselves. Assemble a team of trusted professional advisors that you can rely on to help you implement different aspects of your plan, answer your questions and be on the lookout for you. The professionals that can be the most advantageous are a proactive tax accountant and financial advisor with extensive planning, investment and insurance knowledge, an attorney qualified in estate planning, and a banker that can help with credit ratings and debt management. Before committing to anyone, get referrals for trusted professionals from people whose opinion you respect and don’t be afraid to ask challenging questions.