The 3 Best Things About a Gym Membership

The 3 Best Things About a Gym Membership

It’s the time of year that the marketing gurus of fitness products and anything related to fitness are broadcasting out their ads. Buy this, buy that, join us, join this. This piece of equipment will help you shed 20 pounds in one month!

While all these ads are out there, I’ll explain to you the 3 best things about a gym membership from a guy who belongs to one and actually goes!

Best Thing About a Gym Membership #1

No investment in bulky equipment! Like most Americans, I don’t have the space in my home to dedicate to a full service gym. Unless you have at least a few hundred square feet to dedicate to an all out gym, chances are your areas are occupied with other items.

Sure bikes like a Peloton or an elliptical might claim to be “space saving”; however, the more equipment you add the more space you need.

Best Thing About a Gym Membership #2

The variety of the workout. This piggybacks off of the first point. The more machines you have and weights you have, the more space you need. A gym membership allows you to do a variety of cardio workouts as well as weight lifts.

Most gyms have a full set of dumbbells, benches and other weighted machines for one to use. My gym also offers cardio options such as stair steppers, rowing machines, ellipticals, bikes, and treadmills. Using the same piece of equipment each time you workout can easily get boring, but the variety of a gym allows you to workout as you please.

Best Thing About a Gym Membership #3

The low cost. Sure there are specialty gyms out there that charge upwards of hundreds of dollars a month, but places such as Planet Fitness start as low as $10 per month. For the gym I use, I pay $15 a month and have 24/7 access. I even worked out at my gym on Christmas Day!

What people want in a gym differs, but you can gain access to a quality gym at a low monthly price. It is often said that the biggest investment you can make is in your health.

Conclusion

We can all dream of fancy home gyms or expensive pieces of equipment, but in reality you don’t need much money or space to have a quality workout. Gyms aren’t for everyone, but for those thinking it could be, the new year might be a good time to try it out.

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New Year, New Bills: A Step by Step Guide for Effective Budgeting

Only 32% of Americans maintain a household budget.

For many of us, when it comes to finances, we tend to bury our heads in the sand. Analyzing how much we spend is only going to end in tears, right?

In fact, the opposite is true. Utilizing effective budgeting can actually help us to save money, and even leave us with more money to spend on those things we never thought we could afford.

Read on as we take a look at how to create a budget.

1. Work Out How Much You Earn

The first step is to work out exactly how much money is coming in.

It’s essential to make sure your budget depends on your take-home pay, rather than your gross earnings. Take a look at your payslips to see precisely how much money is coming in once taxes and other contributions have been taken out.

If you have any other sources of income, such as a side-hustle then make sure you include this money in your earnings too.

2. Work Out How Much You Have

As well as your earnings, you may also already have some money set aside.

Depending on your circumstances, you may want to leave this amount aside as your rainy-day or emergency fund. If you have outstanding debts, however, then it may be more cost-effective to use some of your savings to pay these debts off, rather than continue to accrue interest on them. If you have several sources of debt, it may save you money to consolidate your debts by taking out a loan.

3. Work Out Your Outgoings

Just like any debt repayments, you will then need to factor in all your other outgoings.

The largest outgoings are typically for housing costs, transportation, food, insurance, and healthcare. You can work out all of your regular outgoings by taking a look through your bank and credit card statements. Some of these outgoings may vary from month to month, such as your food bills, so the simplest method is to budget for your most expensive month, which will give you plenty of wiggle room.

If you have expenses that weren’t that necessary, then eliminating these from your budget will free up some cash to accommodate other bills.

4. Work Out Your Financial Priorities

Subtract your outgoings from your earnings, and you’ll have an idea of how much you have leftover each month.

If the result is negative, then you’re spending beyond your means. There are two things to do in this case: stop spending so much or start earning some more, by taking on other work or selling some of your unwanted items.

If your result is positive, this is where you have decisions to make. You may decide you want to put this money aside to build up some savings. Or you may want to put it towards paying off debts or use some of it on eating out now and again. Whatever you decide, by setting out exactly what you’re going to spend each month, you will find yourself far less likely to splurge on unnecessary things and will be able to take control of your finances.

Even Effective Budgeting Needs Wiggle Room

Effective budgeting is great, but it doesn’t take into account emergencies or one-off increases in your outgoings.

There could be situations when you need to cover something that you haven’t budgeted for and that doesn’t mean that your budget has failed. You can always think of borrowing money, provided their repayments are easy to work into your budget. Happy New Budget to you!

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Holiday Shopping on a Tight Budget

holiday shopping on a budget

Now that it is November, the holidays are officially sneaking up on us. Before we know it, we will need to get started on Christmas shopping, planning holiday parties, and cooking large feasts for family and friends.

The holidays can be a very stressful time for many folks, especially when it comes to finances. Individuals who have kids, may want to get them everything they asked Santa to bring come Christmas morning. But if you are currently struggling to stay afloat when it comes to your personal finances, you need a way to do your holiday shopping on a tight budget.

It’s important going into the holiday season that you don’t forget to keep an eye on your monthly bills, expenses, and debts. While you are formulating a budget for your Christmas shopping, ensure you are still factoring in your utility bills, credit card payments, title loan bills, rent, utilities and other important expenses.

Once you feel sturdy in your knowledge of how much you need to allocate toward your monthly bills, you can begin to develop a holiday shopping plan of action.

Here are few tips for figuring one out and how to stick to it:

Tips for Sticking to a Holiday Budget

  1. Spending Limit

Before doing anything else, it’s important to know exactly how much you can and/or should realistically spend on gifts this holiday season. Plan to only spend money that you currently have set aside. Don’t use credit cards or borrowed money for Christmas gifts! Once you’ve decided on a budget number, make sure you write it down and memorize it so you don’t go over it.

  1. Organize Your List

To strategize how you will make this holiday budget work and how you will spend your allotted funds, write down a list of all the people you want to buy gifts for. Then use that overall spending limit to do the calculations necessary to determine how much you will spend on each person. This will then help you get a much clearer idea of what you can buy and for who.

  1. Affordable Alternatives

Have you considered homemade gifts, delicious treats, or sentimental keepsakes? A gift doesn’t have to be costly to be amazing or thoughtful. Food bundles can be a thoughtful yet affordable option. You could make your own candles with scents you know the gift-receiver loves. There are always plenty of options that carry more meaning than monetary value.

  1. Use Cash

Try using cash throughout your holiday spending. Spending money on a credit card or debit card can make it easier to overspend and lose track of what you’ve already paid. If you use only cash, you can divide the bills up into different envelopes, this way you know exactly how much to spend on each individual gift. You will be far more likely to stay on target this way.

  1. Sales and Comparison Shopping

Consider shopping online for part of your haul because it can be incredibly easy to comparison shop. You might be able to find items on your gift list for far less money online after looking at a few different vendors. Always be on the lookout for sales that you can take advantage of including Black Friday and Cyber Monday, that way once you know what you want to get someone you will be able to find the absolute best deal.

Image source: Pexels.com

For our other great articles, consider reading these:

Create your own monthly budget

2019 Roth IRA Contribution Limits

3 Reasons Why Weddings are So Expensive

Beach Wedding Ceremony during Daytime

Summer is in full swing. While weddings occur all throughout the year, summer seems to be a popular time for two people to tie the knot.

Many of us attend a wedding with the assumption that we are celebrating friends or family, but do we really know the costs behind it all? Weddings have been getting more and more expensive each year. As someone who has been to a number of weddings and is currently planning one, I can tell you 3 reasons why weddings are so expensive.

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Loans for Small Businesses; How Entrepreneurs Can Grow Their Businesses While Maintaining Ownership

Small business loans or SMB loans as the experts like to call it, is a good start to a future mega company. However, too many such companies have their founding CEOsdethroned or worse forced out of the entire system as such owners were unable to properly maintain their loans and/or sold out too much equity.

While it may be inappropriate to mention specifics, we’d take a quick scan across the causes of such situations and see how to remedy them.

It’s common for small businesses to take a low-value loan and assume it would be easy to offset once the business starts returning. Since the title ‘small business’ is used to describe a startup, not the entire scope of the business, a plot twist may happen as juicy opportunities may appear, and an enterprising individual won’t be able to look away from such.

The downside to this is that: as erupting opportunities keep demanding trial funds, it may be unable give instant returns to offset the loan and thereby prompt your funding institution to take financially disadvantageous actions against you. This could easily circle down into a cascade that leads to you losing your business.

On the other hand, ownership can also be lost by carelessly selling company shares and equity in a desperate effort to financially accommodate the coming growth.

To make sure you and your business are safe from such dire situations, here are key steps to follow.

Know the Legal Expanse Your Financier Is Allowed to Go and Work with That in Mind
Thankfully we are past the time when civil debts like that from an SMB loancan hand you a jail term, however, there are still drastic measures a financial institution can take against its debtors but then again there are ways to maneuver it.

So first off; know how your lender handles situations like this, so you’d have equivalent countermeasures to keep yourself from losing your business.
For instance, you can modify your loan or negotiate your credit card interest rates with your bank.

Avoid Self-Funding
So your SMB loans had gotten you halfway there and you feel your income should do the rest?
Well,

You might be right, or wrong, and if you are wrong, you might have accidentally drowned yourself, as your business might have lost its remarkable prospects, therefore, putting you at a disadvantage on the negotiating tables with your financial institution.

Instead of walking through this myriad of risks, why not just walk around it?

Try a convertible bond instead, it has a feature of delaying the valuation of your business until a prominent investing group buys into it, or better still a try a flexible line of credit Loan

Don’t Give Out Too Much Equity

Agreeably so, self-funding is not the best for a startup business, as the startup may actually drown in its own insufficiency before it can rise at all. However, giving out too much ownership by equity could totally do the same thing, but at a later time.

Your ideal investor may approach you with a plain intent of taking a chunk of ownership and leaving, but seeing you open so much to acquisition could send such investor a message of possibly owning the business by himself in the future, and gradually working towards that.

Final Thoughts
Starting a business is not as easy as the popular planning and executing theory had suggested, there are lots of risks, and uncertainty involved. Therefore, there has to be a critical calculation of how the business would run, starting from its inception, location, funding choices and how to pay back.

In fact, to express its consequentiality, some financial experts would advise you have a single source of fund for your business and peripheral requirements. This is to make sure all efforts are put into only one possibility because paying attention to several alternatives may result in not really following any to the end.

However, this theory is under constant debate with adherents of the regular ‘several choices’ theory, because there’s no way to be entirely certain that the lone standing choice will pull through, and if that fails, the business ultimately fails as well.

The simple and most logical advice for a small business loan is a flexible line of credit loan. This is because you’d have cash flow as needed and you cease to pay interests while your credit card is not under use, besides there are several other alternatives if your credit score isn’t so sound.

Thanks for reading.
Let’s know what you think in the comments section provided below.

How to Budget for Your Next Car in 3 Steps

If you’re in the market for a new car, then you’ll want to create a budget, whether you’re saving up for the purchase, you’ve already got the cash handy or you’re going to need a loan. Here’s how to budget for your next car, no matter your situation.

Step 1. Create a Budget

The first step when creating a budget for your next car is to look at your current budget. Don’t have one? Now is the perfect time to start budgeting. A good way is to budget according to the timing of your wage. If your wage is paid fortnightly, then it’s a good idea to create a fortnightly budget. If it’s paid monthly, create a monthly budget. This simply makes the process a little easier. There are also many budgeting apps to help you.

Start by downloading a budgeting app, or create a humble spreadsheet and list all of your current expenses. Then open your online banking accounts and add in all of your expenses over the past fortnight or more and organise them into categories, such as home improvements/maintenance, work expenses, internet, groceries, etc. From there you will know exactly what you’re spending now and what you can afford to save.

Step 2. Consider Your Purchase

The next step is to pick your car. You’ll want to come up with a list of needs and potentially a list of wants (if your budget allows it). Do your research first and take a look at what vehicles on the market are currently selling for online and in your area. You’ll also need to decide whether you want to buy new or used. Buying used is always the better option on a budget but this is something you’ll need to decide for yourself. Create a list of cars that fit the bill (your needs and wants list as well as your budget).

Step 3. Budget Accordingly

Now that you know how much money you have left over each pay and you know what type of car you’re going to buy, you’ll need to budget accordingly. If you’re going to save up for a car, then you’ll need to create a budget to set aside money on a regular basis. You’ll also need to consider your timeline and how long you can realistically go without needing the new car. Will you be taking the bus to work? Or are you still able to get by driving your old car until you can afford to upgrade?

If you’re in need of a loan, then you’ll want to do your research and consider different lenders. It’s not always the best option to get a loan through your current bank or financial institution. Oftentimes, it pays to look elsewhere. You’ll also need to factor in the loan to your budget and come up with a payment plan. Don’t simply make the minimum repayments. You can always save a lot of money by paying more on top of the minimum repayments, so make sure you choose a loan that allows you to do this.