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(189)Personal Finance Isn't Rocket Science, So There's No Need To Stick Your Head In The Sand

 


Are you one of those people who doesn't open their bank or credit card statements? Do you take out store cards on the spur of the moment? Have you been with the same bank simply because it is less hassle than changing?
If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, fear not confused consumer, help is at hand, with some assistance from a few internet tools.
* Internet tool number one:
** The consumer champion site for personal finance information
Websites such as Fool.com, Fool.co.uk and Moneysavingexpert.com have proved extremely popular with consumers. Fool.com is more geared towards the US market, whilst Fool.co.uk focuses on the UK market. Both have an extremely diverse selection of information from investment and high risk options to personal finance and low risk options. There are extensive discussion boards, newsletter subscriptions, finance calculators and competitions. These sites not only answer your questions, they make you want to ask more.
Fool.com, Fool.co.uk and Moneysavingexpert.com are community based sites and function on consumers exchanging information between themselves, whether that's about passing on recommendations or expressing concerns. The article "Ten Reasons To Fear The Future" by Cliff D'Arcy" on Fool.co.uk is a particularly good introduction to the financial aspects of modern life.
Martin Lewis has almost become a household name in the UK through his website Moneysavingexpert. The outspoken journalist and presenter offers a comprehensive resource on a range of personal finance topics. If you can put up with the cheesey photos of Mr Lewis and his catalogue poses, you will undoubtedly find this site extremely helpful.
* Internet tool number two:
** The price comparison site for personal finance information
Kelkoo, moneynet.co.uk and Lowermybills.com (US) are now commonly exploited by consumers to ensure they are getting the best deal on their purchases. However, it is probably fair to say that more people shop around for clothes and music, than they do for their personal finance products, which is worrying as these cost significantly more.
* Internet tool number three:
** Online banking and account aggregation tools
The internet can be a scary thing and there is still much scaremongering about online security. However your details are often as secure online, as they are offline and providing you choose and hide your password effectively - there should not be a problem with people accessing your confidential information. Choose a password of eight characters or more, preferably replacing some letters with numbers, such "1nternet" or "passw0rd".
Set yourself up with online accounts and you can proactively manage your finances yourself, without waiting for statements through the post or call centre agents to take your query. You can also save yourself bank charges by transferring funds yourself over the internet. Some banks charge large amounts for transferring funds when you can do it for no additional cost at all.
Personal finance doesn't have to be about debt and the efficient co-ordination of funds may save you hundreds of pounds in the long-term.
Resources: http://www.fool.com>http://www.fool.com http://www.moneynet.co.uk>http://www.moneynet.co.uk

About the Author
Rachel would be really interested to get feedback on whether anyone actually reads this section.If someone feels like rescuing Rachel from obscurity, she would be grateful for an e-mail out of here. Rachel writes for the personal finance blog Cashzilla - http://www.cashzilla.co.uk>http://www.cashzilla.co.uk E-mail: rachel@positiveinterest.com

Written by: Rachel Lane


(190)Personal finance - why you should compare, not despai

 

Sorting out your personal finances can be a tricky and exasperating time. Whether you are looking to obtain money through a loan, protect your finances with life insurance, medical, travel or car insurance, save some money through an individual savings account (ISA), apply for a credit card or a mortgage, change a telephone or fuel utility supplier, or simply decide what the best current account is for your needs, the choices are seemingly endless as well as being extremely complicated. They can also be potentially serious if you get it wrong. With so many options, and so many companies trying to get you to use their product, it is difficult to know where to turn.

The first method of working out your own finances is to review your needs and compare the products on offer to meet those needs. You could, if desired, visit the banks one by one, burning calories and shoe leather by doing so. Alternatively you may have heard of the World Wide Web, it's like a sort of big and commercial version of Narnia and you don't have to go through your wardrobe to get there. And no freaky men with goats legs …

… not without a login and password anyway.

So, we present the concept of financial product comparison sites, which have been around in the UK since 1997, when small company called moneynet decided to break up the monopoly in the personal finance market. Over the past eight years, there has been an explosion in the number of UK sites seeking to provide information to enable consumers to make informed decisions on their personal finances. These sites provide free consumer financial product comparison services for credit cards, insurance, investments, savings accounts, mortgages, loans, as well as gas and electricity bill suppliers. Additional consumer information services are also often provided such as financial guides, financial newsletters and personal finance calculators. Moneynet, in particular, has a tool which allows registered users to manage all of their accounts online - securely, including credit cards, savings accounts and current accounts.

You can also obtain financial advice from an independent financial advisor, but this is an expensive way of doing what could be done for free with a little effort. If you do your own homework, then you can use your time with an advisor more effectively by asking informed questions. You'll have a better understanding of what you're being sold if you've done a little bit of homework first.


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Resources:

About the Author

Rachel writes for the personalfinanosaurus Cashzilla


Written by: Rachel Lane


(191)Personal Finance Worries?

 

Are you nervous about your personal finances? The irrational exuberance of the 90s that led to double-digit gains for almost any investment portfolio is over. Now, you might consider yourself fortunate if your investments are losing less than the S&P 500. Add investment worry to the regular personal finance worries of meeting your monthly budget, slaying the debt dragon, and starting/building that elusive emergency fund. Will your savings and investments be able to meet your retirement, children’s college funds, and other goals? Although no one can see the future, there are things that you can do to reduce your worries.

Knowledge Is Power
Learn and become more skilled in financial matters. The best way to improve your financial education is to read personal-finance magazines, books, and even newspapers. The educational materials sent out by mutual-fund companies and brokerages are also valuable. You may come across conflicting information and advice, but if you read widely, you will eventually get a better idea of how to manage your money.


Do-it-yourselfers are not the only people who can benefit from learning more. If you use a financial planner and yet are knowledgeable about investments, insurance, etc., you are more likely to end up with a solid financial plan. If you find yourself teamed up with a inadequate or unethical adviser, and you have a good understanding of investing, you are more likely to recognize bad advice.

Fear Creates Worry
"Greed is good!" says Gordon Gecko (Michael Douglas) in Wall Street. Recent investment losses, corporate scandals, and a stagnant economy refute that statement. Instead, a warning is emerging in personal finance forums as we search and hope for indications that relief is in sight. Fear is bad! Fear has driven many investors either to dump stocks and load up on bonds, certificates of deposit and other conservative investments or, even worse, to stop saving and investing. This creates new problems. People will be incapable of achieving their long-term financial goals because their portfolio may now be so conservative that it won't deliver the returns needed to retire in comfort, or they are simply saving too little.
Faced with this fear and uncertainty, financial knowledge is more important than ever. Instead of reacting to the market’s ups and downs, learn more about the characteristics of stocks, bonds, and other investments; as well as the broad array of personal finance and money management topics.


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About The Author
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This review is courtesy of John Q. Miller at http://www.JQmarketing.com where you can find out how to create your own (no writing required) newsletter and earn multiple streams of Internet income.
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About the Author
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Written by: John Q. Miller


(192)Personal Finance Worries - Debt

 


It may not be surprising to know that the $84,454 is the average household's personal debt in the United States. Even though you may have more or less than the statistical average, it may be comforting to know that you regardless of your financial situation can get out of debt before your debt goes further.

Pinpoint your spending habits to guide to help you realize what has damaged your personal finance. For many people it is simple just spending too much money, for others it might a combination of bad time, student loans, etc. Whatever your current financial situation you must be able to stop doing wrong before you can start healing your credit and finances. A few examples are...

Spending to much Money on Entertainment Spending to much than your making Cable Internet/TV Eating out

"If you have to use your credit card you probably can't afford it". Credit Cards are some of the healthiest businesses in American earning billions of dollars in revenue yearly. Why? People spend too much money and get in debt to quickly in their youth. First identify if you are on of these persons. Do you have more than two credit cards? How often do you use your credit card? What is your interest rate? How much do you own on your credit cards? Do you pay your credit card off with another credit card?

Please realize that the last question, paying off your credit card is an absolute no-no. You are basically paying off one debt for an even bigger one. Most people have a lot more than two credit cards, but why? You can only use one at a time? Or are you buying more than you can actually afford? The key to get out of debt is to cut your spending and save 10% of your take home pay, which you use to pay off your debts.

Get out of Debt
In order to be financial free of debt you need to stop spending and you need to get lower interest rates. You need to finance your debt into a debt consolidation loan, or refinance your home loan. This is the normal situation for most of us; however loan options will differ on individuals. Say you're paying 15% interest rate on your credit card, which is low for most. Lets also that you have the average $8,000 in credit card debt (National Average). Lets also say you have an additional $20,000 in student loans, personal loans, etc at a rate of 5% annually.(Not including mortgage, or car loans). If you were to get a debt consolidation loan, which offers you a loan to pay back your current debts normally at a lower interest rate you would be saving money in interest payments.

Accelerating your Debt
Now to really get out of debt, you need to apply the first rule. Cut 10% of your take spending right off the top. Lets say you take home $1,800/Month (after taxes, etc). Most would be going to see movies, going on dates, eating out, buying clothes. Well if you can manage your personal finance and save that extra $180/Month, and you put that toward your debt consolidation loan. You will be financially free two-to- three times faster, and have saved thousands in interest payments than if you just paid of the debt consolidation loan minimum payment.

DonkeyMails.com: No Minimum Payout
About the author:

This Article is brought to you by FinanceRating.com - Personal Finance Comparison. FinanceRating is a directory and resource center for individuals concerned about their Finance wishing to improve their current financial situation. Pages/resources from credit cards and banking to mutual funds and more.Personal Finance http://www.financerating.com

Written by: FinanceRating.com


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