How To Save Money On Pet Expenses

Owning a pet is an amazing experience. You have a best friend right there living with you, after all! But between all of the fun and games, the costs of owning your very own companion can be a lot higher than people may realise initially. From food and bedding, to unexpected vet bills, covering the payout might not be within a lot of people’s budgets. However, while you could opt for payday loans in the case of a financial emergency, saving money on your pet expenses is easier than you think. Here’s how:

Buy Food In Bulk

When it comes to feeding your pet, this can often be one of the biggest, but will also be the longest-running cost you’ll face with owning a pet. Bigger packets of food tend to be more cost-effective, and with that in mind, buying in bulk can be the best way to save money altogether. However, it’s important to bear in mind that while cheaper brands could be tempting because of the low price tag, they could also end up being worse for your pet’s health, which of course leads to unexpected vet bills (more on that later!) All in all, shopping around and being prepared to buy in bulk could save you hundreds over your pet’s lifespan.

Get Pet Insurance

Pet insurance is both the best, and one of the most costly things you’ll buy for your pet. While it can seem costly when you’re paying it out every month, the money that you’ll save by having that insurance if something goes wrong is well worth the monthly payments, trust us. Whether your pet falls ill, is injured or needs any kind of treatments. Most insurance policies will even include cover if your pet injures or is accused of injuring a third party, and sometimes even the cost of putting out ‘lost’ posters.

Buy Any Medication Online

If your pet does end up needing medication, buying this online could save you an amazing amount of money. Some sites will need a prescription in order for you to buy, but if you can pick this up from your vet (remember that pet insurance we mentioned?) then you can buy the medication a lot cheaper without compromising the health of your pet. Common supermarket medications can also be found cheaper online, so it’s worth checking it out any time you need flea treatments!

Buy Toys Or Bedding From Charity/Thrift Shops

The temptation to buy expensive toys for your pet is going to be one you find hard to resist, but it’s perfectly okay to pick up toys and bedding from charity or thrift shops when you come across them. Your pet isn’t going to be fussy, so neither should you! Charity shops in particular won’t sell anything that isn’t of a good enough quality so don’t hesitate to pick up anything second hand!

When it comes to caring for your pet, ensuring that it’s well-looked after is a must, but we understand that finding the costs in which do this isn’t always as simple as it seems. Using our money-saving tips, you can easily budget effectively without reducing the quality of your pets life!

 

The 3 Types of Loans You Are Likely To Encounter in Your Life

In most cases, most people in the United States will have to take on at least one kind of loan in their lifetime. Whether it be a car loan for your first car as an adult, a mortgage for your exciting first home purchase or some loans to help you further your education; loans are a necessity for most of us.

This article will take a closer look at each of the three most common types of loans, and provide some more information about them as well as some tips on utilizing them correctly. These loans can be great, but can also cause you a lot of trouble and heartache if they are not paid back on time, or at all.

Before even looking any closer at these loans, be sure to only take out loans that you can afford to pay back. If you take out a loan with payments that you simply cannot afford every month, you could find yourself drowning in debt and living in a constant state of stress as a result, so be sure to have a budget and stay within it.

Vehicle Loan

Unless you have thousands of dollars of cash on hand to purchase a vehicle, you will need to get a car loan. These loans can be provided by banks, local lenders, and even online lenders are throwing their hats into the mix.

These come in all different shapes and sizes, and are generally easy to get as long as you have an income and are living within your means. Whether you want to pay a certain amount every week, or just make loan payments once a month, there are options for you. Of course, there are more options (and cheaper rates) if you have a good credit score, but there are a ton of options for those with a “less than perfect” financial history.

These vehicle loans can be unsecured or secured, and the interest rates and other terms will often vary depending on if they are secured or unsecured. However, in addition to loan payments, you also need to think about the other costs of owning a vehicle, such as maintenance, insurance, gas and more.

Home Loan/Mortgage

Purchasing a house is a big choice and you have a lot to decide on including where you want to live, what size of a house to buy, which neighborhood to live in, and more. However, another choice you need to be sure to make is which type of mortgage you will get.

We all know that mortgages differ in terms of rate, term and length, but what you might not have known is that there are actually different categories of loans, too. On one hand, there are conventional loans, and on the other, there are government loans.

Conventional loans often require a downpayment and are less flexible, but generally have cheaper mortgage insurance, whereas government home loans (such as a USDA home loan) often require no or a low down payment, are very flexible, but generally have higher mortgage insurance premiums.

Student Loan

While scholarships can help certains students, others rely almost exclusively on student loans to get the chance to further their education.  They can normally be used for tuition, food, rent, computer, transportation and other student expenses.

Like other kinds of loans, there are different types of student loans. There are federal loans (both subsidized and unsubsidized) and private loans. Federal loans are generally better and cheaper if you can qualify for them, but if not, private loans are an option.

However, you need to be careful with these loans. Americans owe more than $1 Trillion in student loan debt, spread out over 40 million people. These are staggering numbers that just show how many people utilize these loans. To ensure you aren’t contributing a lot to that statistic, be sure to pay off your student loans as soon as you are able, as some people end up stuck paying off these loans decades after they graduate.

 

3 Examples That Show Sign-Up Bonuses Are Everything

Source: Pexels

When it comes to registering with companies, whether they be banks, retailers or something in the leisure industry, it can often feel like they’re doing you a favour by allowing you to be part of their world. Well, we don’t think this should be the case as it is the consumers that keep any company alive! This is why some industries have introduced sign-up bonuses, to reward people willing to come and give them the time of day. Plus, as more companies begin to realise the importance of patrons, we’re getting better sign up deals than ever. Today, we thought we’d take a look at a few examples of sign-up bonuses in different industries to show you how much you can benefit.

1. Credit Cards

Source: Pexels

First and foremost, we have to talk about credit cards. We all know there are quite a few different opinions when it comes to these nifty little tools, with some believing that they can lead to mass amounts of debt and others viewing them as credit score saviours. As long as you are responsible with your personal finances and know that you are reliable enough to pay your loan back every month, credit cards are without a doubt a great, useful tool. 

Of course, there are so many to choose from that it can be difficult to pick a specific card, and we all know you don’t want dozens of credit cards on the go at once. One way you can narrow down which credit card is best for you is to look at the sign-up bonuses each bank and company offers. If you have an impeccable credit score then you could be approved for some incredible sign-up bonuses that can range from $50 to $250, if not even more. That said, standard cards often come with their own welcome packages, so it is definitely worth comparing before committing. 

2. Bank Accounts

Like credit cards, debit cards and savings accounts often come with sign-up bonuses as well. Plus, while credit cards are a luxury, everyone needs at least a debit account to get through everyday life – especially if you need to build your credit rating to get a credit card at all. Fortunately, almost every bank offers bonuses on at least one kind of account as they want as many people as possible to choose them and remain loyal for as long as possible. 

There are quite literally hundreds of sign-up bonuses being offered by banks around the United States and the world at any given time, often including money, interest rates and even discounts at specific retailers. Checking all of these different bank offers can be tricky, but simply do your research or check a site like Wallet Hacks to see which offer works best for you. 

3. Online Casinos 

Now, let’s get into an industry that is a lot more fun than banking and credit scores: iGaming. Online casinos have thrived over the last few decades, becoming one of the most successful online industries of the 21stcentury and allowing players all over the world to come together and play their favourite games whenever and wherever they want. Like credit card companies and banks though, each individual business must put out competitive sign-up bonuses to beat the competition.

So they should, as like our previous two examples, online casinos are dealing with your hard-earned money and valuable time. Before choosing any specific casino to commit to, do your research by visiting sites like Oddschecker, where welcome packages are compared fairly to ensure you get the best deal. These welcome packages could include anything from no-deposit bonuses to free spins and are always worth checking.

There you have it: three examples of why sign-up bonuses are great for companies, and perhaps even better for consumers. Are there any other industries that have great sign-up bonuses? Are there any specific welcome packages out there at the moment we should be looking at? Let us know in the comments below.

Quick Loans for payment of the advance taxes

Filing the taxes is an inevitable part of your life. They are consistent and you cannot escape them if you want to enjoy a trouble free life. When your income falls in the taxable income slab, you should be ready to file the tax. Talk to your financial advisor or the financial expert for seeking suggestions for filing the taxes. Payment of taxes is always painful but if you want to make the taxes enjoyable, you should make sure to file the advance taxes. In this, you will have to make payments of the taxes in advance. This helps you to get the good tax return. However, there are many people, who often do not pay attention on the things that could give them a tax return. If you also want to get the tax returns, you should pay advance taxes even if you need to get the payday loans which are the short term loans.

Boost your returns through advance tax payments

Here are some of the tips on which you can enjoy the tax deductions. This helps you to get the big returns on the advance tax payment.

Education fees: If you are paying the education fees of your children then you are eligible for enjoying the tax deduction. There are chances that the education fees of your children are high and at a particular point of time you may not have enough cash for making fees payment of the school or college. In that case, payday loans are the best help.  This type of loan is the quick loan that you can obtain from the payday lenders. Due to the popularity of these loans, many parents are now able to provide better education to their children and getting the tax deduction.

Donations:  those who make the donations are also able to get the tax deduction on the income. You can not only get rid of your old things but also enjoy the tax deductions.  Thus, you should make the donations regularly. If you find that you are running out of the money then getting the quick loan or the payday loan for making the payment for donation. The loan can be repaid easily if you are willing to pay while the tax benefits which you get are amazing.

Home fees: This is another type of cost that can help to get the tax deduction on your taxable income.  If you have purchased your first house then you can rebate on the fees including the title fees and mortgage fees. So, don’t neglect these types of fees to get the tax benefits. Payday loans can help you to make the payment of these fees easily.

Why You Should Not Cosign a Loan

Mike was a recent college grad.  He found himself a good job, but was having issues with the vehicle he had driven since he was 16.  It was time for Mike to get a new car.  He went ahead and found a car he liked at a local dealership, but when he went through financing he got stuck with a 12% rate!  Why so high?  Mike didn’t have any credit.  He had to get his mother to cosign a car loan with him in order to bring down the interest rate.

The new interest rate Mike was able to get for his loan was now 3%.  This would lead to thousands of dollars in savings over the life of the loan,  all because his mother, who had a credit history, signed it with him.  Did Mike’s mom do the right thing?  Probably yes, she trusts her son and knows he just got a good job, but many people cosign a loan not thinking about any of the consequences.  Below are 3 reason why you should not cosign a loan.

Image result for why you should not cosign a loan

WHY YOU SHOULD NOT COSIGN A LOAN REASON #1

You are responsible for the loan if the person you cosign with cannot make payments.  In Mike’s situation above, his mother knew that signing a loan with her son would save him thousands of dollars, but if Mike suddenly lost his job or forgot to make payments, then his mom becomes the responsible party.  Never cosign a loan with someone you don’t think can make the payments.

WHY YOU SHOULD NOT COSIGN A LOAN REASON #2

Your credit score can be affected, both positively and negatively.  An institution loaning you the money can offer a lower interest rate with a cosigner because they have mitigated the risk of default for the loan.  If you cosign a loan and the loan is repaid in full, you can see your credit score rise, but if the loan goes into default, it can hurt your score and lower your chances of getting future financing.

WHY YOU SHOULD NOT COSIGN A LOAN REASON #3

Once you add your name to a loan you cannot take it off.  If you and a friend cosign for a loan together, then you better hope that friendship doesn’t go south anytime during the loan.  Relationships sometimes fizzle and don’t work out.  It is best to make sure that emotions don’t get the best of you when cosigning for a loan.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Cosigning a loan can be a good way for someone to build credit.  It is also important to remember that you are taking a risk on building someone else’s credit for the sake of your own credit.  Sometimes people can make financial decisions based on emotions, cosigning a loan is a perfect example of a financial decision that should not be made on an emotional level.

Budget Smart, Invest Wise

How to Get the Most Out of Your Student Loans

When it comes to paying for higher education the majority of students require student loans. Studies show that in some states up to 75% of bachelor’s degree recipients graduate with some student loan debt. The average debt is around $30,000 per borrower.

Given these numbers, you know you’re not alone. Still, you want to get the most out of the money you borrow. Let’s find out how.

Money You Buy

You don’t need someone to tell you that you can’t order out pizza every night. Still, there are ways to optimize your borrowing in ways you might not have considered. Taking out a student loan is like buying money. You want to spend as wisely as possible, but you also want to buy it as cheap as you can. Basically, this means getting the lowest interest rate possible.

Interest rates might also affect how much you end up borrowing. For example, if you take out a loan of $30,000, different interest rates might stack up like this:

  • At 7% over 120 months, you end up paying $41,799 total.
  • At 4% over 120 months, you end up paying $36,448 total.

See the difference? Now let’s say you are willing to pay back $41,799. Then at 4% over 120 months, you could take out a bigger loan for $34,400 giving you an extra $4,400 to cover costs. In the end you still pay back the same amount, but more goes into your pocket. That’s the power of lower interest. Of course, you want to borrow as little as possible, but a lower interest rate can offer you some wiggle room.

How to Get The Best Student Loan Interest Rate

The only way to get the best rates is to shop around. Thankfully, there are modern ways to do this that make the process easy. In the past, you had to go door-to-door asking each lender separately. This meant a lot of forms to fill out and a lot of time.

Today, the web based multi-lender marketplace has streamlined the process big time. These platforms have established connections with many lenders so you don’t have to go door-to-door. All you do is answer a few questions online about your situation. In minutes you have several prequalified rates at your fingertips. Once you have the interest rates, making the choice is pretty easy.

Other Relevant Data

Online marketplaces can also help you gather other data about lenders that might be important. For instance, if two companies offer you the same rate, how do you decide? Other influential factors might be:

  • Minimum loan amount – The least amount you can borrow.
  • Maximum loan amount – The largest loan they offer.
  • Terms – The time you have to pay back the loan. The loan amount may affect this.
  • Eligibility – Some companies only lend to students enrolled at least half-time.
  • Co-signer – You may or may not need someone to co-sign for your loan.
  • Benefits – Can include interest rate reduction if you authorize autopay.
  • Deferment period – Determines when you have to start paying back the loan.

Conclusion

Getting the most out of your student loan doesn’t mean you have to eat ramen noodles every night. Instead, use the tools available and make smart borrowing decisions.

Erasing the Red: 5 Steps to Regaining Your Financial Stability

Falling into debt can happen to anyone. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead of lamenting about the past, take steps to improve your future. Just like anyone can fall into debt, anyone can climb out of it and regain financial stability. You just have to follow these 5 simple steps:

Stop Borrowing Money to Pay for Products and Services

If you want to get out of the debt, the first thing you must do is stop financing purchases. This means that you do not buy anything you cannot pay for in cash. Also, stop signing up for new credit cards. Instead, focus on the debt you already have and how you are going to pay it off.

If you have no cash and absolutely need something, consider installment loans. But understand that these are high-interest loans and that you should only take them out if you can pay them back quickly.

Create a Buffer in Your Bank Account

Prepare for emergencies by creating a buffer in your bank account of at least two paychecks. This means that, while the money does exist in your bank account, you pretend that it does not, and you only touch it if you have an actual emergency.

Create a Budget and Then Stick to It

Creating a budget may seem complicated, but it is actually easy. All you need is a pen and a piece of paper. Right down on this piece of paper everything you need to pay for during the course of a month, such as rent, food and utilities. Also write down the price of these things, and do not put on this list anything you do not really need. Then, you keep to this budget. You do not spend above what you allocated, and you do not buy anything that is not listed on the page.

Order Your Debt

Just like you made a list of your expenses, you should make a list of your debts. This will help you pay them off faster.

You can list your debt in two ways. In the first way, you list your debt from smallest to highest, without regards to interest rates. Then, pay off your debts from smallest to highest. By paying off the small debts in full, it will give you momentum to pay off the larger ones, and it will make you believe that you can get out of debt.

The second way of listing your debt is by interest rate, from highest to lowest. Then, pay off the higher interest rate debt off first. But doing this, you will get out of debt sooner.

Throw Money at Your Debt

Sometimes money just comes to us. Whether it be from a tax refund or an inheritance or selling something, instead of buying something with this newfound money, take it and spend it on reducing your debt, using the list you created in Step 4.

In conclusion, you can get out of debt almost as fast as you got into it. Just follow the steps outlined here and you will be on your way to financial stability.

 

The cost of keeping a pet snake

If you have ever thought of acquiring a pet snake, the first thing that you should do is give some thought to how much it will cost you. The initial expense consists of the cost of the snake itself. However, it doesn’t all come down to that. You will have to budget for food, shelter, vet visits, as well as many other things that could be unexpected.

How much does the snake cost? It’s rather difficult to give a straight answer to this question because you might even be lucky enough to get it for free if there’s someone in your area that breeds snakes, for instance. However, if you are looking for a specific type of snake, you might end up spending somewhere between one hundred to thousands of dollars.

How much does the equipment for keeping a snake cost?

Getting a complex terrarium for snakes is one thing, but the fact is that even the simplest glass aquarium is going to cost you a minimum of one hundred dollars. On top of that, you will need an under tank heater, which usually costs about twenty-five to thirty bucks, depending on where you get it from. The heat lamp setup is mandatory, and it might force you to take as many as seventy-five dollars out of your wallet.

Every bag of substrate is going to last for about a month, and it will cost you around $20. Other things you are going to need range from hides to fake foliage and might amount to $50, depending on what you have in mind in terms of the design you want to put together. Every mouse you feed to the snake will cost you at least $2, and rats are almost twice as expensive.

Before you get your pet, it might be a good idea to do a bit of reading on the requirements of that species. Needless to say, getting a book on snakes might cost you ten to twenty dollars. E-books might be cheaper.

Last, but not least, it’s worth mentioning that you will not only invest in a heater for the snake enclosure but also one for the room it is placed in. Many species are tropical, which means that they are used to very high temperatures. If you live in Minnesota and you want to make sure that your snake is kept in the right environment even in January, your heating bills will go through the roof.

Emergency costs

If there is any chance that your snake might bite someone, you need to ensure that you have the right funds to pay for that person’s medical bills. Besides, any snake can get sick, just like any other animal, and going to the vet’s office can force you to take as much as eight hundred dollars or more out of your wallet.

As you can see, keeping a pet snake isn’t particularly cheap, especially when compared to other kinds of animals. It is your decision to make, but what you have to bear in mind is that you need to be a responsible pet parent and offer your pet the best you can.

 

Things to consider before turning your hobby into a career

Do you wish you could do something you love for a living? It’s a powerful motivation for many people and it’s what causes many to turn to their personal passions for career inspiration. Indeed, one study in the UK suggested that as many as 40 per cent of self employed people in the UK set up a business based on their hobby.

But, before you run off into the sunset with your new business idea, there’s a few things to consider first:

Gradual transition?

Do you have to go straight in at the deep end? It’s a big step to call time on your job and, ideally, you wouldn’t do this until you’re definitely ready to go. Think about whether or not you can start moving towards monetizing your hobby on a smaller scale in your free time. This will give you time to build some foundations and to test the water before you dive in. You could, as Glassdoor notes, do a lot in 15 hours a week before leaving your role.

You’ll need a business approach

A business mindset needs to be different to your hobby mindset. Your first impulse should be to make money, not just to have fun. You need to be able to promote yourself, market your products and be able to accept criticism, which is only natural when you’re looking to sell rather than show. You need to be able to handle all of the ‘back office’ work needed to make this a professional pursuit – with all of the necessary paperwork, budget planning, accounts and taxes – and make choices that have a sound financial basis.

It’s not about you, it’s about the market

Speaking of which, one of the biggest hurdles to get over is in your attitude to the market. When you’re engaged in your hobby your target market is you – you’re making products that you love and to entertain yourself. As a business, your target market is your prospective customers. You need to spend some time researching which products and services are successful in your field. What do rivals do, how much do they charge and what could you do differently? You need to be able to think about what other people will want to buy, not just what you’d like to make.

Can you operate on the right scale?

You also need to consider the issue of scale. Can you produce enough items to be able to make a profit and meet customer demand? This means looking into everything from sourcing materials in bulk right through to storage space to be able to have the right amount of stock (you might need to purchase a new garage to help with this if you’re starting from home).

A place to work from

As well as storage, you also need to have a premises to work from. Many people choose to do this from home and, while this might be a smart choice to keep your overheads down, it’s still important to think about how to create yourself some ‘work space’ – not least to help you separate your work and home life. This might mean investing in a desk or other home equipment, for example. If you’re not working from home, spend time searching for a space that won’t cost too much money – but will still be able to cater for all of your needs.

 

4 Financial Safety Nets All Seniors Should Have

Being able to retire comfortably means making the right financial moves before you leave the workforce. When you no longer have a steady paycheck coming in or live on a limited retirement budget it’s important to have a few financial safety nets in place. Make sure to factor the following into your monthly budget as you enter retirement.

Final Expense Insurance

No one likes the thought of leaving their family with debt. If life insurance isn’t an option (see below) you can still get funeral costs covered with final expense insurance. A final expense insurance policy can also be used as a supplement for your life insurance plan if you want additional coverage for a funeral or memorial services. Typically, final expense policies are less than $20 a month.

The application process isn’t as in-depth for final expense insurance as it is for life insurance. In most cases a medical exam isn’t part of the application process. However, there are currently a lot of options when it comes to final expense insurance. An online resource like PolicyZip can help seniors get quotes and compare final expense insurance plans.

Life Insurance

This traditional form of insurance provides a monetary benefit to beneficiaries upon the death of the policyholder. The proceeds can be used for a number of things including debt payoff and supplemental income for surviving spouses. For that reason, life insurance is highly recommended for the breadwinner in the family.

There are three common types of life insurance: whole life insurance, universal life insurance and term life insurance.

Many people choose whole life insurance because the money you put towards premiums builds the cash value of the policy. The policyholder can borrow against this cash value just like they would any other asset. Other benefits of whole life insurance include benefits that never decrease, premiums that never increase and the policy can’t be cancelled due to age or illness. Guaranteed issue (GI) is a type of whole life insurance that doesn’t require a medical exam, however the percentage of the benefits paid depend on how long the policy has been active.

Universal life insurance is also active until the policyholder passes away, but there is one key difference. Most universal life insurance policies don’t build in cash value and can’t be borrowed against. There are three primary types of universal life insurance: guaranteed, indexed and variable. Whether or not the policy builds in cash value depends on the type of universal life insurance you select.

Term life insurance refers to policies that are only active for a certain number of years. If the policyholder is still living at the end of the term there will be no payout. This type of life insurance is more affordable, but there’s no guarantee you’ll get benefits in return for the premiums.

IRA Account

An individual retirement account, commonly referred to as an IRA, is a financial tool that’s specifically designed to help people save for retirement. IRA accounts come with a number of financial benefits before and after reaching retirement age. The amount you put into the IRA account is tax deductible and the income earned through the IRA is tax-deferred until money is withdrawn.

There are two primary types of IRAs: Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs. With a traditional IRA, contributions are made with pre-tax dollars and the amount is deductible. Taxes aren’t taken out until the account is closed or money is withdrawn. A Roth IRA is paid with after-tax dollars and no taxes are taken out when money is withdrawn.

If you’re close to retirement you can still open an IRA account, however, this financial tool provides the most benefit when it’s established in your younger years.

Nest Egg

An unexpected expense or emergency can happen at any time, and the financial tools above may not provide assistance. Without money set aside for savings these types of unforeseen events can cause serious financial stress. The conventional wisdom is that retirees should save 10-12 times their annual income in order to retire comfortably.

If you’re planning for retirement or need help budgeting in your senior years, talk with a financial expert. He or she can help you create a budget and savings plan that will ensure you live comfortably during your golden years.