Focus on Results: Where to Spend Resources for Maximum Gain

When you’re running a business, working in any kind of managerial role or simply taking decisions on behalf of one for example as a marketing agency entrusted with a budget, what you’re doing every day is choosing where to spend resources to get the best results for the smallest investment. Those resources might be literally money, but the resources you have at your disposal could be the work-hours of the team you’re managing, the reputation of your company, even personal favours built up over time.

You need to make shrewd use of these resources, putting them into projects that bring in a bigger return than spending them costs. This doesn’t just mean profit: one of the most important things you can do is begin to recognise more indirect gains, from building a reputation for quality with your customers, spending money to build in risk avoidance systems that reduce loss from future projects and avoiding false economies, seeing the bigger picture is vital as you rate your decision making and account for it in front of others.

One of the most important factors at work here is the use of data to inform each decision you make. Using research on your own company, and from market research agencies like Attest mean you can approach choices with confidence about what your consumers want, the extent to which they’ll trust your brand, and exactly what you can do to get it to them. It ensures you’ll avoid problems like over promising, which can harm trust in your company in the long term and drive away the loyal repeat custom that success is founded on. With good data you can start to predict the outcome of your choice, and this modelling allows you to steer towards good outcomes and away from bad ones.

It’s important that your research and data gathering looks back as well as forward. Don’t just walk away from a project, especially if it’s gone badly (or at least, not as planned). Review your decisions, look at where your expectations differed from reality and try to work out why: you might need to make some personal changes if your preconceptions are causing to allocate resources wastefully, or you might need to change your data gathering and analysis techniques to better your ability to predict how your choices will turn out and make sure you’re making the right ones.

3 Tips for Creating a Realistic Business Budget

Are you developing a startup company and struggling with how to set up a budget that is realistic? Setting up a realistic budget and merchant account is absolutely imperative to running a successful, long-lasting business and should not be overlooked. Most importantly, you must learn how to adequately spend your new company’s money before you plan on generating money. Knowing what money needs to go where is a fundamental necessity. Drafting a simple budget plan and creating a merchant account with the help of an accountant will allow you to set up your company’s spending habits, the needs of the company, and predict potential issues as well as track your spending. Follow these simple steps to set up the foundation for a successful business.

A Budget Is a Necessity

Image via Flickr by 401(k) 2013

The first step to setting up a budget is to understand the importance of one. Where does the company need to spend money? How much money goes in each category? How much must you generate in order to pay the bills for your business? All items must be accounted for to prepare not only for budget growth but to stay on top of bills and expenses. Here are some great examples of what your business needs to budget for:

  • Total cost for your startup company.
  • How much it will cost to operate your company effectively.
  • Necessary labor, products, and resources.
  • Anticipated profits and expenses.

Utilize the Zero-Based Budgeting Approach

Zero-based budgeting is a great way to budget for the next fiscal year with regard to your business objectives. What are the goals of your business? This process involves budgeting in a way that all expenses are warranted and that you will start the next year from the “ground up.” Zero-based budgeting begins with asking yourself what your main objectives are for the business in the next year, such as increasing sales. If this is the case, you must adjust the budget based on the growth that you want to occur during the next fiscal year.

Cut Unnecessary Costs

If you are unsure if you can pay the next bill and your budget is out of balance, experts suggest that it may be time for your business to cut costs that are deemed unnecessary. It is not in the best interests of your business to add new expenses to the budget until the money spent and money earned are properly accounted for and balanced. Giving yourself room for potential pitfalls is a wonderful way to stay out of hot water.

Budgeting does not have to be overly difficult or scary. All you need to do is follow a few simple steps and you will be set to create a budget for your business. These essential steps will assist you in growing your company’s worth, ensure success, and avoid any potential money blunders in the future. With the help of an accountant to keep your budget on track, you will be well on your way to creating a wonderful business.



FHA Loans: What You Need to Know

First time homeowners would be foolish to think the journey ends when they sign their names on the dotted line. The next step, if they haven’t done so already, is get their investment insured against fires, water damage, and all matters that can be declared “acts of God.” The financial burden these place on the owners could sour their victory.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is one organization started in 1934 to help low income individuals obtain a mortgage. FHA offers government-backed housing loans that protect lenders against default. This makes the loans act more as mortgage insurance.

Aside from having financial challenges, there are other factors that go into applying and gaining an FHA loan. The borrower’s employment history, for starters, must show they have worked for the same employer for the past two years. They must also have a valid Social Security, legal citizenship, and above the age of 18. And, that’s just the beginning.

Down Payment

The minimum down payment for an FHA loan is 3.5%. This percentage can be gifted from donor, retroactively making it zero down. This is an advantage when trying to purchase houses in Colorado Springs or another emerging market.

Borrowers can apply for rate and term refinances by getting a Loan-to-Value (LTV). LTVs are distributed according to certified appraisals that can cost the owner from $250 to $750. The property value from the appraisal will be divided against the loan value leaving you with an LTV percentage.

Insurance Premiums

An FHA loan is essentially a form of mortgage insurance. A borrower will have to pay a Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP). There are two kinds of MIPs: upfront premium and annual premium.

The upfront MIP is 1.75% of the loan and paid upon application. An annual premium varies based on the loan term (15 to 30 years) and can range from .45-1.05%. Those with a 15 year mortgage may have to pay a higher interest rate while less than 15 may have lower rate. That number is also adjusted based on the amount of money borrowed.

Credit Score

Buyers with low credit scores can still get an FHA. If that credit score is within the range of 500-580, then the borrower must pay an upfront charge of 10%.

Low credit borrowers must also have no more than 1 late payment per year. An applicant must also have no bankruptcies, foreclosures, or tax liens within 3 years.

Limits & Loans          

All FHA loans, regardless of credit score, have a maximum borrowing ceiling of $729,750. And, that’s only an estimate based on the cost area and the number of units owned.

203k renovation loans are reserved for houses in need of major repairs to their plumbing or climate control. The payout is set according to the cost of repairs in a detailed LTV appraisal. A streamlined version is issued to properties that require cosmetic repairs to the interior (kitchens, bathrooms) and exterior (siding, roofing, decks and patios). The streamlined borrowing ceiling is $35,000.

Cash-out refinances are also available under FHA for any owner who has built up equity in their property.


Victor Oladipo Net Worth

Many professional athletes take a few years to develop at the next level before they become a top performer.  While LeBron James and Bryce Harper are exceptions to this rule, it can be seen through every professional sport.

Victor Oladipo is a prime example of someone who has found his stride after a few years in the NBA.  The former number two overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft, Oladipo is now getting paid for the value he brings.  Victor Oladipo net worth sits at $12 million.

Image result for victor oladipo net worth

Before the start of the 2017-2018 NBA season, Victor was traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Indiana Pacers.  Last season after joining the Pacers, Oladipo led the team in scoring averaging over 23 points per game.

For next season, Oladipo will make $21 million in salary for his on the court contributions.  It will represent year two of four on an $85 million contract he recently signed.  Next season’s salary will push Victor Oladipo net worth even higher, close to the $20 million mark.

A 26 year old from the state of Maryland, Oladipo played his college ball at Indiana University.  Coming out of high school, he was a consensus three-star recruit.  He played a total of three seasons for the Hoosiers before deciding to turn pro.  During his final season with the team, he earned the Big Ten’s Defensive Player of the Year Award while averaging close to 14 points per game.

For his performance during the 2017-2018 NBA season, Oladipo continued to rack up the awards.  He won numerous awards for his performance last season.  He was the recipient of the following: NBA Most Improved Player, NBA All-Defensive First Team, NBA All-Star, and All-NBA Third Team.

After such a solid performance last season, the Pacers have high hopes for their rising star.  He is expected to lead the team both on offense and defense again this season.  With three remaining seasons on his current contract, the Pacers shouldn’t have to worry about their star leaving to another organization.

When Oladipo completes his current NBA contract in 2021, his career earnings will top $100 million.  At the conclusion of his contract Victor Oladipo net worth could easily be around the $35 to $40 million mark.

If he continues his trajectory of performing at a high level, Victor could cash in on a large payday after the 2020-2021 season.  Most likely he will be eligible for a max extension that could pay him in excess of $40 million per season.






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How To Transition The Kids Back To A School Schedule

If you are like me then you are ready to get some of your time back.

Right now there is no mommy quiet time.

I miss sitting on the couch at 11 pm with a glass of wine after yelling lights out and playing my 888sports bonuses.

No more teenagers up until 2 am!

Unfortunately getting our children back to a schedule when they have been so rowdy all summer can be a handful.

Start Out Lightly

In other words, don’t let them know last minute that their schedule is changing.

Despite all of the training that we put into them they are still not the adults, we are.

We know there schedules better than they ever will and need to stay on top of them.

Slowly integrating a stricter schedule as school approaches will allow them to gradually get used to the time changes of when they need to get up and be in bed.

During the summer I am like most parents and do not strictly enforce a bedtime.

As the summer quickly reaches its end I start to enforce a fun and lenient bedtime slowly.

Changing the time closer each day to what there normal school scheduled bedtime will be.

At first, we get some grumbles but I just remind them that I have been nice in letting them stay up later and if they want to push their luck then we can start the new schedule in full force the next time I hear a complaint.

This quickly ends the discussion for at least that night.

Have Them Help You To Go School Shopping

For many of our children, they are overly concerned about how they are going to look when they return to school and see their friends.

Having them join you when shopping for clothes and supplies will help them to re-establish the mindset of being in school.

When you get home from shopping have them set up their outfits for the first week in there closet or model the outfits for the rest of the family.

Prepare There Backpacks

What will they be bringing with them?

How will they organize their backpack?

How will their binder be organized?

How will they decorate their book covers?

Have them take the wrappers off of there new school products and organize them.

Have them help you plan out there lunches for the week

Are they going to bringing a lunch or having a school lunch?

Schools provide a list of available lunch options and your children can decide what days they would like to bring a lunch or beg dad for lunch money.

If the family decides that the kids will be bringing a lunch allowing them to help decide, within reason, what will be in there lunch will get them excited for the new school year.

How Well Do You Know Your Broker?

Before you start trading, you must first get a reputable broker to carry out your trades for you. A broker is generally a person or a firm that controls your trading account. Besides controlling the account, a broker also quotes the current prices for you and sends all trades into the market. If you do not have a broker to do the trades for you, you would find it very difficult to carry out some tasks. One such firm that makes trading easy is Rakuten Brokers form Rakuten securities.

Brokers are divided into 3 main categories.

  • ECN (Electronic Communications Network) Brokers

ECN brokers use communication networks to match trading orders in order to give you the best prices in the market at that particular time. They are the eyes of what goes on both sides of the market. They will receive different prices from many institutions in the market and then compare them before giving you the best quotes.

An ECN broker makes his money through a commission added on the spread from a provider with the best quote. Let’s take an example. If the provider gives the broker 0.5pips on AUD/USD, the broker then adds his own spread of something like 0.4pips. This means that the trader dealing with an ECD broker will get a 0.7pips spread on AUD/USD. The 0.4pips is the commission the ECN broker earns. This is the only way they are supposed to make their commissions.

  • Market Marker Brokers

These are brokers that control the trading market all by themselves. What this means is they set their own bids and prices. You can even say they have the trading market on the palms of their hands. They will not bother to send any trades out in the market and will do as they please. They dictate how the market will go and basically without them, the trading market would be almost dead. Also referred to as the dealing desk brokers, they are a force to reckon with.

  • STP (Straight Through Processing) Brokers

These are a cross between Market Markers and ECN brokers. In most cases STP brokers display their own prices and quotes which reflect the quotes from the interbank. They will choose either to trade in- house like Market Markers or send the trades into the market like ECN brokers. They choose to send the more successful traders into the market and keep the losing one’s close by. Whichever way they choose to, they make profits.

When they send their trades into the market, the STP broker make their commission or spread without incurring any losses. Losing clients lose a large amount of their capital over time. The STP broker knows this and that is one of the reasons they keep the losers in-house. The brokers know that eventually, they will gain from the continued loses. They also make sure that they trade against the losing trades so they can continue making profits.

  • Is there a bad broker?

The STP may sound like a bad broker but in actual fact, the only bad broker is one that changes trades and conditions in the market to deliberately make a trader lose. Some unscrupulous brokers are known to make traders lose all or part of their capital. Every one of the categories listed above has its fair share of fraudsters.

  • Conclusion

To make sure that you are dealing with the right broker, make sure that they are regulated by the correct state governing bodies. Also carry out enough research to find out whether they are what they claim to be. This you can do by reading reviews about their firms and visiting their websites. Read and confirm about all the services they offer, check if they have a working and effective customer support system and that they have your best interest at heart.

Ask any questions about Rakuten brokers by vising the Rakuten securities website and learn the importance of knowing your broker well before you start trading.