Business Startup Toolkit

A toolkit developed for the Small Business Administration that let’s community-based organizations set up workshops for aspiring business owners.

This post is aligned with a network of sites interested with the intersection of small business, the philanthropic sector and government in creating healthy and sustainable communities.

For more information on small business grant and home ownership programs visit TopGovernmentGrants.com.

Manage Your Money, And Reap The Rewards

Financial issues are a leading cause of stress and depression. Don’t be one of those people! No matter what your finances look like, things will look better if you take steps to improve your financial habits and get your bank account into better shape. Continue to read to find out how to improve your finances.

Success starts with managing money well. Profits should be protected and capital invested. If you put your profits into your capital you can build a better foundation; you need to keep a careful watch on them so you can see more profits. Set standards for profits and what you put into capital.

Save a ton of money while traveling abroad by avoiding the touristy areas and opt for local restaurants and cafes. Various hotel and other restaurants are tourist areas that tend to be very expensive, so research where locals eat. You can find quaint restaurants with lower prices and great tasting local cuisine.

Taking note of each and every expenditure is a great way to discover where your money tends to go. Though writing in a book that can easily be put away so you don’t see it often will allow you to forget about it and not use it. Instead, create a big chart or board at home and use that to list all your expenses. Seeing this multiple times a day can help keep it fresh in your mind.

If you are going to invest your money, make sure you aren’t hit with massive fees. Full service brokers levy fees for services they provide. These fees will take away from the money that you earn because they are paid before you get your earnings. Avoid patronizing brokers that charge high commissions, and do not invest in funds that have high management costs.

Rather than using a credit card that is close to being maxed out, use two or more credit cards. Two payments will have lower interest than one high payment. Keeping lower balances on two cards, rather than maxing out one card, protects your credit scores and can even improve your credit history if you keep both cards paid on time.

If you travel by air frequently, it can be worthwhile to sign up for a program that rewards frequent fliers. Most credit cards have some sort of rewards program that allows you to redeem points for cash or gifts. Your frequent flier miles will constantly increase and are redeemable at thousands of hotels or airlines across the world.

If a credit repair company guarantees a better credit score, run away screaming. Some companies may say they can absolutely fix your history. However, this is a misleading claim because the cause of your poor credit may differ from the cause of someone else’s poor credit, and these varying factors require different treatment methods. To guarantee success would be a fraud and no one should make this promise.

Financial Situation

You should be feeling happier and more confident now that you have some ideas about how to fix your financial situation. You need a few starting points on how to improve your individual financial situation. With a new sense of hope, share this material with a friend who may be in need.

Your Guide To Best Practices In Personal Finance

When you take the time to organize and budget your income and expenses, your financial needs become much clearer. You may feel that your money goes tumbling into any empty hole whenever you have a little extra. Still, it is possible to handle money more efficiently.

Being able to successfully manage your money is key to your success. Capital that you invest should be well protected. Put some of the money you earn into more capital investments, and make sure to stay on top of the process to ensure that you continue to make money. Set a percentage of your income to go into investments.

Because the times are quite volatile, it can be a good idea to keep your savings in a number of smaller accounts. Spread that money to different accounts such as checking, savings, stocks, gold and other high-interest bearing accounts. Using a variety of strategies will help you protect the money you have.

Choose a broker that you can trust and are comfortable with. Demand impeccable references and try and gauge their honesty and trustworthiness. Being a beginner means you’ll have to take extra care to find a broker who understands your personal needs.

Purchasing bulk orders of lean protein meats can save you both time and money. But it is only inexpensive if you actually use all that you buy. It is a time saver to spend time in one day to use this meat and set aside some for a meal each day.

Always be aware of the best time to file your tax return. Instead of waiting until the last minute, file your taxes as soon as possible to get your return even earlier than usual. It is a better idea to file near April 15th if there is a chance the you owe the government money in taxes.

Now that you have read this article, saving should be more workable for you, no matter what may come your way. Don’t worry if it is a long process to improve your finances. Anything helpful in life does not come quick. Just stick with it and you will begin to see changes.

Writing down the amount you spend each day can be helpful in understanding where you spend your money. Make sure, however, that you do not tuck your notebook away and forget about it. This is why you should install a white board into your bedroom, kitchen, or even your office so that you can write out your expenses. You will see it often throughout the day so the message stays fresh.

The Most Important Debt Consolidation Information Around

Being in debt is extremely stressful and a lot of individuals find themselves unable to manage all their monthly payments. Taking time to learn about it can help you obtain relief. The article below contains tips and tricks to get you started with consolidating your debt.

Prior to getting anything done, your credit report shouldn’t be checked with caution. You need to fully understand how you got into this mess to begin with. This is a good way to stay out of debt once you managed to pay back everything you owed.

Do you currently hold a life insurance policy? Many life insurance policies allow you to cash in your policy. You must talk with your insurance company to see what you can receive against the policy you hold. You may be able to borrow a bit of what you’ve invested to help you pay your debts.

As you choose a debt consolidation agency, think long-term. You want work done now, but will they company be there in the future? Some can provide services that will help you stay away from this type of financial issue in the future.

Your creditors need to know if you are in consultation with either a debt consolidation business or a credit counseling professional. They could discuss alternative arrangements for you. More than likely, they won’t know it on their own, so make sure they know it up front. Plus, they realize that you are attempting to responsibly manage your debts.

Many people find that they can lower their monthly payments by simply calling their creditors. Many creditors are happy to help debtors who are trying to pay off their debt. Just give them a call and ask if you can have your interest rate fixed and the card cancelled.

Interest Rate

Filing for bankruptcy is an option you should explore. Of course, any type of bankruptcy is bad for your credit. But, if you simply cannot repay your debts, your credit is probably already damaged. You can get your financial house in order by clearing the decks and starting fresh with a bankruptcy.

How is your interest rate calculated? An interest rate that is fixed is the best option. This helps you know what is to be paid throughout the life of your loan. With an interest rate that varies, you may end up paying more with debt consolidation than you would have paid without it. Those interest rates can increase as time passes.

If you have to turn to debt consolidation measures, you should seriously consider why you allowed yourself to accumulate so much debt. After all this, you would not want to find yourself in the same position once again. Consider what mistakes you have made and how you can ensure they don’t repeat themselves.

Although using debt consolidation companies can really help, it is important that you learn if they are reputable. Deals that look incredible are usually not true. Always ask questions and educate yourself so that you know if the answers you get are what they should be.

Try to avoid scams at all costs when choosing a debt consolidation program. If you see offers that are simply too good to be true, then they probably are. Ask plenty of questions to the loan provider and do not accept the loan until you get some clear answers.

Debt can wreak havoc on our lives. There is a solution if you take the time to become educated about your options. With any luck, the above tips should help you see what you need to start boosting your finances.

Tricks On How To Be Successful In The Stock Market

Do you ever wish you could own a piece of a company? If so, then investing in the stock market may be for you. Before you put any of your money into the stock market, there are a number of things you should know. The following article contains this advice.

If you invest using the stock market, it is a good idea to keep it simple. Keep your investments strategies such as examining data points, making predictions and trading real simple to help ensure you don’t take on too many risks on companies or stocks without having market security.

To maximize profitability, think long-term. It is important to understand what your goals are and to have reasonable expectations. Understand that the stock market is largely unpredictable in the short term. Keep your stock for whatever time it takes to turn a profit.

Your portfolio should always have a reasonable amount of diversity. You don’t want to have all of your eggs in a single basket. As an example, if you choose to invest your entire budget in one company and that company goes under, you will have sacrificed everything.

Try to view every stock you purchase as owning a portion of a company, instead of just a meaningless card to be traded. Take time to analyze financial statements and evaluate the weaknesses and strengths of the business to asses your stock’s value. With this broader perspective you will be able to make more informed decisions about whether or not to buy or sell a particular stock.

Use a broker online if you feel comfortable doing research on your own. Online brokers have cheaper fees since they let you do most of the work. Since your objective is to increase profits, minimizing operating costs is in your best interests.

Short-selling is a great method of trading to try. When you do this, you make use of various loaning stock shares. This is when investors borrow shares through an agreement that will deliver the exact number of shares at a date that is later than normal. They sell their shares which can then be bought again as the price drops.

It is smart to keep a savings account with about six months’ worth of living expenses in it, set aside for emergencies. By doing this you will save yourself from financial disaster if you are faced with a job loss or medical emergency.

Stock Market

Did this article motivate or scare you away from the stock market? If you are still interested, proceed to take your baby steps. Keep the basic information in mind and you will soon be playing in the stock market, without losing alot of money.

Managing Bank Cards Wisely – Tips To Show You How

Many people find charge cards to be frustrating. However, when you have the proper knowledge, using bank cards becomes easier. In this article, you will find many tips to ensure that the experience you have with charge cards is as good as it can be.

In order to maintain a high credit card, ensure you are paying off your card payment on the day that it’s due. A late payment can do a number on your credit score, and can also require you to pay pricey fees. You can avoid being late by putting your credit card payments on an automatic schedule.

Annual Fees

Check the details and fine print. If you receive an offer touting a pre-approved card, or a salesperson offers you help in getting the card, make sure you know all the details involved. Details like the rate of interest you will have to pay often go unnoticed, then you will end up paying a very high fee. Also, make sure to research any associate grace periods and/or fees.

Double check for annual fees when signing up for premium credit cards. Depending on the card, annual fees for platinum or other premium cards, can run between $100 and $1,000. Do not get an exclusive card if you don’t need one so you will not have to worry about these fees.

Alert your credit card issuer the moment you are having financial difficulty. Oftentimes, the credit card company might work with you to set up a new agreement to help you make a payment under new terms. This can help make them not turn in a report to a reporting agency about a late payment.

Make certain you completely understand the terms and conditions of a credit card before you sign up for it. You could discover the interest rate, fees, and payment schedule are a lot more than you anticipated them to be. Read each word in the fine print so that you completely understand their policy.

Many times, the reasoning behind the minimum payments that credit card companies set is due to the fact that they want you to pay more over time than you would if you paid more toward your debt. Always pay more than just the minimum amount required. This helps you pay much less interest in the long run.

If you want a brand new credit card, try limiting the search to those with lower interest rates and that do not have annual fees. With so many cards out there that don’t require an annual fee, getting one with an annual fee is simply a waste of money.

If you use bank cards, stay on top of your credit standing by obtaining your credit report once a year so that you are reassured of the accuracy. Compare the credit card debt shown on your report to your statements to make sure the information matches.

As noted earlier, too often, consumers find themselves frustrated and discouraged after dealing with a credit card company. You can choose a good card for you if you are patient and do your research. Use the information here to enjoy your cards and all of their benefits.

Create a budget that is not impossible to adhere to. You should not think of your credit card limit as the total amount you can spend. Understand the amount of money that you can pay off each month and only spend that amount so you do not incur interest fees.

What You Can Do To Repair Your Credit

Having bad credit can prevent people from successfully taking out loans, leasing a car, or making other important financial decisions. Credit scores can drop due to neglecting bills or paying fees too late. If you need to fix your bad credit rating, read the tips presented here to get out of the hole.

A secured credit card might be a good option for the person with a poor credit score. Anyone can get one, but you must load money onto the card as a type of “collateral”. If you get a new card and use it responsibly, it will help to improve your credit score.

Interest Rate

When attempting to make your credit right once more, it is imperative that you present a solution to all those that you owe money to, and don’t deviate from anything you commit to once it is in place. Make a commitment to making better financial decisions. Stick to the essentials, and avoid frivolous purchases at all costs. Ask yourself if a certain purchase is both necessary and affordable. Buy the item if your answer to this question is “yes”.

Your interest rate will be lower if you have a good credit score. This will make your payments easier and it will enable you to repay your debt a lot quicker. Obtaining the best possible interest rate saves you money, and helps you maintain your credit score.

A good tip is to work with the credit card company when you are in the process of repairing your credit. This will keep you from increasing the amount of debt that you have. Do not be afraid to call your credit card company and ask if you can make changes to your due date or your minimum payment amounts.

You should examine any negative entries on your credit report thoroughly if you want to fix your credit problems. Any mistakes, such as in the amount owed or the date the agreement was entered, could result in the removal of the entire negative trade line on your credit report.

If you need a credit card to aid in fixing your credit but you cannot obtain one due to the state of your credit, applying for a secured credit card is an option. These types of credit cards often require a good faith deposit to open a new account. If you show a good history of payments with this card, it will help improve your credit standing.

Try joining a credit union to begin a credit score. They may offer better rates and more credit due to local conditions as compared to national ones.

If you find any errors on your credit reports, dispute them. You should compose a letter to the agencies that have made the errors, and provide proof that you are correct. Use a return receipt when you mail your package so that you can prove that the agency received it.

Avoid spending more money than you make. This might be a tough thing to get your head around. Unfortunately, easy credit has lured many people into buying luxuries that they don’t need and cannot afford, which will always catch up with them. It is important to look closely at your finances and see what you can actually afford and what you can not.

You can easily get a mortgage if you have a high credit score. Timely mortgage payments augment your credit score. Once you own a home, you will have financial stability secured by your assets, thus a good credit score. If you have to borrow some money, you will need this.

Credit Score

Any adult who needs to take out a personal or business loan, or has children that need loans to go to college, is affected by their credit score. Regardless of the amount of debt you currently have, and how low your credit score is right now, you can begin to improve your credit by following the advice provided by this article.

Create A Smart Debt Consolidation Plan With These Tips

Are you aware of debt consolidation? You probably have, but you might not know exactly how it works. Take heart! Help has arrived! Read on to learn everything you need to know about debt consolidation. You’ll find out what you need to know if you continue reading.

Before considering debt consolidation, review your credit report. You have to know why you are in this position to start with. Doing this will prevent you from getting into financial troubles once again.

Make sure the debt counselors are qualified. Do they have any certifications? Is your counselor legitimized by working for a reputable company? This helps to determine the legitimacy of the company and whether or not it’s worth pursuing.

If you are checking out debt consolidation programs, you shouldn’t automatically think that a non-profit company will provide you with better terms. Certain companies mask themselves as non-profit in order to fool people into using them, resulting in extremely high loan terms that you cannot get out of. Check with your Better Business Bureau or try to find a service that someone can recommend.

Think about bankruptcy instead. Although bankruptcy might be the answer, it can really do a lot of damage to your credit. If you cannot make your payments on time and are running out of options, filing for bankruptcy can be a smart move. You can get your financial house in order by clearing the decks and starting fresh with a bankruptcy.

Interest Rate

Examine how the interest rate for your consolidated debt is calculated. An interest rate that is fixed will help you budget your money and make your payments on time. This helps you know what is to be paid throughout the life of your loan. You definitely want to be leery of an adjustable rate plan. Those interest rates can increase as time passes.

When signing up with a debt consolidation company, you should make sure that the workers there are qualified to do their job. Counselors should have a certification from a professional organization. Do they have a reputable institution backing them to prove legitimacy or strength. This is the best way to determine whether or not you should deal with a company.

You might want to think about refinancing your house loan and using this cash to pay off your debts. With mortgage rates at their lowest, this is a good time to refinance and take care of your other loans. Your mortgage payment might also be lower now than it was before.

It’s never a good idea to take a loan from a company (or individual) that’s unfamiliar to you. Loan sharks are there to hurt people when they need help. When you make the decision to borrow money in order to pay off some of your debt, only do business with a loan provider with a solid reputation. You should ensure they provide a reasonable interest rate compared to the rate the creditors charge.

While going through the debt consolidation process, strive to identify the reasons you are now in debt. You don’t need to run into this again five years down the road. Look deep into yourself for answers, and make sure this doesn’t happen to you again.

Speak with your creditors when you’re about to do business with a credit counselor or a debt consolidation business. They could discuss alternative arrangements for you. This will help to take the stress and tension away from your life. Knowing you are attempting to make things better might help your case.

Debt consolidation programs can offer financial help, but make sure they are not scams. When something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Ask a potential lenders many questions and prior to agreeing to anything with them, have these questions answered.

Now you’ll have a good understand of debt consolidation. Do your research and consider which options work best for you. When you do this, you’ll be on your way to a brighter financial future.

Valuable Information For Credit Card Users And Applicants

A credit card can help individuals everywhere to build their credit and manage their money. Consumers should be well-informed about bank cards so that they can make the right decisions. This article gives some basic tips of what to do when you have a credit card. It will help you make wise choices and avoid credit trouble.

Interest Rate

Make sure you know the current interest rate of the credit card you are applying for. You should never sign up for any credit card without knowing the interest rate. Choosing a card with a high interest rate will cost you dearly if you carry a balance. A higher interest rate will make it more difficult to pay off your debt.

A retail card should only be opened if you really use that store often. If a retail store puts out an inquiry to the credit bureaus to check about your qualification status for their card, it will impact your score. A lot of inquiries from stores can lower your credit rating.

If you have not established a credit history and are interested in obtaining a credit card, it may help to obtain a co-signer. This can be a family member or friend with existing credit. They need to be willing to pay for your balance if you cannot pay for it. Doing this is an ideal way to obtain a first credit car, while also building credit.

Your credit score is important, and it can help you to get fantastic credit card offers. Your credit score will determine what kind of credit card offers you will receive. Credit cards with low interest rates, the best points options, and cash back incentives are only offered to individuals with stellar credit scores.

Leave no blanks spaces on any credit card receipts you sign at a store. Make sure to write a dark line right through the tip area of your receipt so that it cannot be filled in by anyone else. When your credit card statements arrive, take the time to ensure all charges are correct.

If you have credit cards, make sure you have a budget determined. Your income is already budgeted, so make sure you make an allowance for credit card payments within this. Your credit card is not extra money, so never view it this way. Set aside a certain amount that you’re willing to put on your credit card every month. Stick with it and each month, pay it off.

Always know who you are dealing with and make sure they are legitimate companies when you give out your credit card information online. Call the contact numbers on the website to ensure they are working, and avoid venders that do not list a physical address.

It is possible that your interest rate can be reduced, so do not think that you are stuck with the rate you were given. Just like any other business, credit card companies are in competition with each other and have many interest rates available to them. If you don’t like your interest rate, make a call to the bank and talk to them about it.

Credit Card

It is not a good idea to get a credit card right when you turn of age. While many people can’t wait to own their first credit card, it is better to fully understand how the credit card industry operates before applying for every card that is available to you. There are several responsibilities associated with being an adult; having a credit card is only one of them. Get comfortable with financial independence before you obtain your first card.

Reading the above text, you can glean various aspects of credit and begin to understand how to use a credit card to your full benefit. An understanding of each card is imperative so that you can make education decisions. Having a good understanding about how credit card companies operate can be very advantageous for consumers.

Easy Solutions To Dealing With Bank Cards

Bank cards usually are seen as indicators of high interest rates and too much danger when using them to spend. But debt isn’t inevitable, and credit cards can often be a convenient way to purchase items. The article below discusses some of the ways to best use credit.

Do not close credit card accounts until you understand the impact it may have. Sometimes closing bank cards can leave negative marks on credit reports and that should be avoided. The card that makes up most of your financial history should not be closed.

Always track all purchases you make on any credit cards. Noting down your credit card expenditures on paper or a spreadsheet will make you less likely to start spending money you cannot afford to repay.

Never use your credit to buy things that are out of your price range that you cannot pay off. It’s fine to use credit cards to stretch out the payments for an item you can afford, but refrain from making a major purchase that you couldn’t afford otherwise.

The reason companies have low minimum payments is so they can charge you interest on everything on top of that. Always pay as much as possible in excess of the minimum payment. This will help you avoid pricey interest fees in the long term.

Credit Card

Whenever you can manage it, you should pay the full balance on your bank cards every month. In the ideal credit card situation, they will be paid off entirely in every billing cycle and used simply as conveniences. Your credit score will improve by using the credit card, and paying the entire amount owed will keep you from paying any finance charges.

Know how closing a credit card will affect you before you do it. It is possible to negatively impact your credit report by closing cards. It is also important to keep your major credit accounts active so that you do not lose a big portion of the credit history that you have built up over the years.

Always make any credit card payments on time. Credit card balances must be paid by a certain date. If this does not occur, hefty fees may be imposed. Furthermore, many credit card providers will increase your interest rate if you fail to pay off your balance in time. This increase will mean that all of the items that you buy in the future with your credit card will cost more.

If you are searching for a new card, you should limit your search to the cards with low rates and with no annual fee. With the plethora of suitable bank cards available without annual fees, there is simply no reason to get stuck with a card that does charge one.

If someone calls you up and asks you for credit card information out of the blue, don’t give it out. This is used by scammers all the time. Only give your number out to trusted businesses and your credit card company when you call them. Don’t give them to random phone callers. It doesn’t matter who they say they are. You never know who they may really be.

By keeping track of all your credit card purchases, this will help you from spending more money than you can actually afford. It is simple to lose track of spending unless you are keeping a ledger.

Refrain from closing your credit accounts. You might think doing so would help, but your credit score may be damaged by closing accounts. This is due to the fact that you subtract from the gross credit that you have, which lowers your ratio.

When used strategically and mindfully, charge cards could offer serious benefits. Credit cards can help in an emergency or offer rewards. Use the advice from this article to most effectively use your bank cards.

Make Your Credit Score Better Through Expert Advice

Is your low credit score holding you back? This economy has caused an unprecedented epidemic of bad credit. Luckily, you can improve your score and start now with the tips in this article.

Planning is the first step to repairing your credit. Make a commitment to making better financial decisions. Limit your purchases only to things that are absolutely necessary. You should only make a purchase if it is necessary and it fits in your budget.

A good credit report means you are more likely to get financing for a home. You can improve your credit by paying your mortgage on time. Owning a home shows financial stability, which is great for your credit. This will be useful in case you need to borrow money.

You can get better interest rates on credit cards and loans when you have a good credit score. This will help you afford your payments, and get out of debt quickly. The key to paid off credit is to find a great offer and a competitive rate so that you can pay off your debt and get a better credit score.

You must pay your bills consistently if you want to repair your credit. To help your credit, you should be paying the full amount owed within the time allowed. Your FICO score will begin to increase immediately after you pay the bills that are past due.

Do not involve yourself in illegal activities. The Internet is rife with many scams that will go into detail about creating yourself a brand new credit file and making the old one magically disappear. Of course, this highly illegal, and it will cause you even more problems, because it will not go unnoticed. The legal costs can cripple you, and there is a very good chance you will be sent to jail.

Know how debt settlements will influence your credit score prior to making a decision. Research all of your options, make an informed decision about the method you chose, and only then should you agree to the settlement. Some debt settlement companies are only after profits and do not communicate the likely consequences of their methods.

Opening an installment account is one way to improve your credit score. You need to review the terms of an installment account carefully, because you’ll be required to maintain a certain monthly minimum. Keeping an installment account will help your credit score.

If your credit isn’t so hot, but you need new credit to demonstrate responsibility, then look up your local credit union. Credit unions have opportunities that are better than other places and are usually local.

Anything on your credit report that you feel is inaccurate should be disputed. Send a letter to all agencies involved. Include the errors you noted along with supporting documents that prove that the information on file is erroneous. Mail the materials and ask the postal service for proof of delivery in order to build a record to show that the agency did indeed get the letter.

Use these tips to change your credit score and make it better. These tips can stop your score from plummeting and help it increase.

If you want to fix your credit avoid companies claiming they can remove all of your issues, even those properly reported. Sadly, harmful entries remain on your report for roughly seven years. You should know that mistakes and anything incorrect can be removed from your credit report.