Save Money On Your House Move With Shiply

Moving house is an expensive task, especially if you are still a student or just finished your studies. The bills can climb up on you and push you even further into debt.

Sometimes moving is inevitable, whether you are moving home or relocating for work, it is a stressful task that takes a lot of time and money.

However, there are always you can save money and moving house is no different. Read on for 4 simple ways you save money on your house move.

Try Shiply: This is a delivery comparison website where you can get free quotes all directly to your inbox. The aim of Shiply is to allow for courier services to fill up empty vans which in turn is both kind to the environment and your pocket. It is up to 75% cheaper than most offline companies. Shiply works like eBay where you can read the transports company’s feedback from previous customers and compare it to give you a clear idea of the type of service you could get. 

Packing: Some companies will offer a packing service so make sure to ask about it if you need help. This can save you time and money on sourcing boxes and packing material. If you do plan on packing yourself only take what you need, the less stuff you have the less it will cost you. You can buy boxes in bulk from websites like Amazon.

Buy second hand: When we move into a new place we often need new items unexpectedly such as kitchen utensils, furniture, lamps etc. But not everything has to be bought new. Save yourself a ton of money and source some of these items second hand both on and offline. There are so many online options available to find great bargains for example Craigslist, Amazon and eBay. If you are not a fan of shopping online and don’t want the hassle of it then, try local yard sales, classified ads and charity stores. You’ll be surprised what you find, most items just need a bit of tender loving care to look new again.

Do it yourself: When it comes to cleaning do it yourself. It’s not rocket science save yourself the cash and get scrubbing. When leaving your current place, you often won’t get your deposit back until after an inspection has taken place so you need to absolutely scrub every surface. If you are short on time or not the best at cleaning, rope in help.

Preparation is key give yourself time and plan everything at least 3 weeks in advance. The later you leave things the more stressed you will be and the more corners you will cut which in turn will cost you money.

Real Estate Technology: A Look Into The Future

Compared to other industries, there aren’t many tools on the market to help buy, sell or rent property. Take the automotive industry, there are hundreds of apps, platforms and startups vying for the same market. Perhaps it’s because a home is the largest purchase for many people, or because of how much of buying and selling process requires government documentation.

But that’s changing, and the landscape of that PropTech change is exciting not only for buyers, but for agents, sellers and everyone in real estate. There are monumental changes that need to be made, but things are well on their way. Last years I spent looked at over 2,450 properties on Craigslist, viewed 30 in person and selected one after 3 solid months. It was like having a second job. It was terrible. [Read more…]

To Buy a Home Soon, Start Learning (and Saving) Now

rp_stock-photos-for-entrepreneurs-2-large-300x200-1-300x200.jpgIn college, you are supposed to learn. Primarily, you should be studying in your chosen field, gaining the knowledge and skills that will serve you in a future career ― but few college grads leave university without acquiring a few lessons about adulthood, too. You learn how much detergent to put in your laundry; you learn how to treat those around you with respect; and you learn how to afford books and rent while still having money left for food. Yet, college still fails to prepare you for the “real world” in a handful of ways ― especially when it comes to owning a home.

Unless real estate was part of your major, you probably know almost nothing about the complex process of buying and selling property. However, if you don’t know what you need now, it could take you years before you are ready to buy your first home. The sooner you quit renting and start gaining equity on your own home, the better ― which means you should really start learning about home ownership right about now.

This guide can help you figure out what financial resources you need to make your first real estate purchase, so you will be one step closer to being prepared for your real, adult life.

Creditworthiness

Few home sales are made with cash. Instead, most home buyers can only afford to purchase property with the help of a home loan, or mortgage. Mortgages come in all shapes and sizes, from the standard 30-year fixed to adjustable rate, from jumbo to conforming, from government-insured to conventional. Because you will be paying your mortgage for several decades (unless you sell the home and move) it is imperative that you understand the various mortgage types and find a trustworthy lender to work with.

Yet, even before you start hunting for a mortgage, you need to work on your credit score. How you use credit now will impact your future score, which will raise or lower your mortgage interest rate. Until you buy a home, you should improve your creditworthiness by paying down your balance, diversifying your credit, and raising your limits without overspending. Then, you should be able to secure an affordable interest rate right out of college.

Available Cash

Though your credit history is paramount, you shouldn’t skimp on saving actual cash. You will need money available to make a down payment on your future home, because neither sellers nor lenders want to do business with a buyer who lacks any liquid assets. For the best interest rate, you should have at least 20 percent of the home’s cost available, but some lenders will accept as little as 5 percent, balancing their risk with demanding higher mortgage payments from you. Additionally, you will need to pay closing costs, home inspector fees, taxes, and a number of other expenses not factored into the home’s price, which means to afford a home soon, you need to start saving yesterday.

Stability

There is no point paying a monthly mortgage if you expect to be jet setting around the world for much of your post-college years. Additionally, if you crave the freedom of a freelance job or the whimsy of a (poor-paying) creative job, home ownership might not be for you. Lenders care little for the joy and independence in your life; more than anything else, they want to know that you are stable and secure, with a reliable income and a reason to stay put. If you can’t prove your responsibility, ideally with a history of paychecks, you can’t and shouldn’t buy a home.

Foresight

Most college students love imagining what their lives will be like after graduation ― but a vast majority of them get it dead wrong. More likely than not, you won’t get your dream job, your dream spouse, or even your dream house, and the sooner you recognize that, the better. Right now, you should develop your sense of foresight, so you can more accurately predict what your property needs will be. Most recent college grads need little more in a home than a warm, dry place to sleep and eat. However, if you are certain that you need a multi-room home close to a good school for your forthcoming family, you should start saving for that, instead.

What to do When You are Still Over Budget

One common goal for our finances that we all have is to stay on a budget. This is truly the most basic way to take control of your financial future. Your budget will help you find out where you spend your money and make the needed changes so that you will not over spend. Some people have a difficult time getting motivated to do a budget and stay on one. If you are having a difficult time sticking to a budget, there are a few budgeting hacks that you will find here. It is imperative that you stop making excuses about budgeting and take back control of your finances immediately.

You may have gone over your budget countless times and still can’t find areas to cut back any farther than you already have. The tips you will find here will show you areas that you might not have thought about before.

Energy

How much are you paying for your energy? If you live in a deregulated area such as Edmonton, you might be able to save a bit more on your energy bill. Click here for more information on comparing rates to get the plan that is best suited to your budget and your needs.

Also, when it comes to energy, there are a few other things you can do to lower your bill regardless of where you live. Try to get a yearly energy audit to find out where you are losing energy and how to fix it. Make sure that all of your appliances are running efficiently and switch to the LED light bulbs as opposed to the old fashioned incandescent ones. Make sure that the areas around your doors and windows are sealed so that heat or cool air isn’t escaping. Is your insulation up to date and sufficient? If not, this could be causing you to use more energy than necessary to keep your home climate controlled. Also, your thermostat is responsible for about half of your energy costs. Getting a smart thermostat could help you lower those costs.

Health Insurance

It is a widely known truth that health care can be expensive. If you are paying high premiums for health insurance, there are ways to lower those costs. You can opt for a higher deductible to start with. If you are a pretty healthy person, you won’t be going to the doctor very much anyway. This might not be a great idea for growing families though. You can also compare the gaps in various coverage plans to see which one will best suit your needs. Also, consider whether you need dental and vision coverage in addition to your normal coverage. These will cost more.

Taxes

One place that you might not think to look for extra money in your budget is in your withholding taxes. Are you getting a nice refund every year? If you are, the chances are good that if you take a look at your filing status and make a few changes, you will be able to get more in your paycheck that you will be able to put towards an emergency fund or whatever else you might need the additional money for.

Groceries

You probably have money in your budget allocated for groceries. Are you making the most of this amount though? Are you going through all of the grocery ads looking for sales and comparing prices? Places like Walmart will match prices on advertised sale items so that you won’t have to waste gas going from store to store to get the great prices. Are you clipping and using coupons? Some stores have double coupon days when you can really save money. You might be surprised at how quickly these savings can add up.

Bag It

Are you getting lunch out every day at work? If so, consider making your lunch at home and taking it with you. This can save you a considerable amount of money over a year. Also, if you are getting your coffee on the way to work each day, consider making your coffee at home and taking it with you. If you go to places like Starbucks on a daily basis, you might be spending as much as $5 on a single cup of coffee. That adds up quickly.

If you follow the tips that you have found here, you will be able to find extra money in your budget that you might not have seen before. 

What Are The Differences Between a Will and A Living Trust?

When you work so hard for your money and assets, you likely want to leave it to the people you love after you pass away. That’s a natural inclination, which is why estate planning is so important.

When you consult with an estate attorney, one of the first things you have to decide are whether a will or a living trust is right for you. Often, even people well-versed in personal finance don’t know that a living trust is an option for them or that it may even be more advantageous than a will.

The following are some key differences worth highlighting between a will and a living trust.

What Is a Living Trust?

You may already have a clear idea of what a will is. It’s just a written document that spells out how you’d like your property to be distributed to your heirs when you die. You can also use your will to handle guardianship if you have young children.

On the other hand, a living trust deals with not only what happens after your death, but also during your life. A living trust is comprehensive in that it can cover not only the distribution of property, but it can also be used in the event that you’re incapacitated because of an injury or an illness.

Probate

One of the biggest and most significant advantages of a living trust, as opposed to a will, is the fact that it helps your beneficiaries avoid probate. The probate process can be lengthy, complicated and expensive, and often when people are putting estate plans in place, they try to help their beneficiaries avoid this experience.

Control and Privacy

Along with the concept of avoiding probate, some people prefer the creation of trusts because it allows them to maintain more of a sense of control over what happens with their money, and it helps keep their beneficiaries from being at the mercy of a court.

Also, there tends to be more privacy with a trust, and financial information doesn’t become public record as it would with a will.

If you’re particularly worried about the potential for a contested situation with your estate, a living trust can be one of the best ways to avoid that after you’ve passed away.

Simplicity

While a living trust can seem like a very good idea because of the ability to avoid probate while maintaining control and privacy, it’s not something that’s without certain possible disadvantages. The primary pitfall of a living trust is that there can be a lot more set-up time needed on your end during estate planning, to save your beneficiaries the time and effort after you pass away.

Living trusts can be complicated to create, and they can be more expensive as a result.

When you’re creating a trust, it’s critical that you work with an experienced probate or estate attorney who can guide you through the process correctly.

Changes

When you create a will, if you decide to change it, it can be as easy as actually tearing it up. On the hand, if you create a trust and decide you’d like to make changes, it can be more challenging and require further time and money to do so.

These aren’t all of the differences between a living trust and a will, but they are some of the most crucial distinctions that are worth thinking about if you’re trying to decide which is the right option for you and your finances.

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The Costs Involved in Undertaking a Masters Degree

A good college education certainly doesn’t come cheap, and you already know this if you have received your bachelor’s degree in any subject area. But if you wish to switch careers or advance your existing career, you might be thinking about going back to college for your master’s degree. How can you prepare, and what costs will be involved? Keep reading for the answers to these important questions.

Costs Will Vary Depending Upon the Program You Pursue

First off, it is important to note that the costs of getting your master’s degree will vary and will depend upon the school that you are attending and the program that you are pursuing. For example, a masters in nursing could cost a different amount in terms of tuition, books, and other supplies than a masters in business administration program would cost you. Also, if you are going to school online to get your online masters in business administration or your online nursing degree, you may pay a different tuition than you would pay if you were commuting to school. Finally, the school that you choose to attend will also determine how much you will pay. A school like Washington State University might provide a more affordable education than other colleges out there that have similar programs.

Remember, You Will Need to Buy Expensive Books and Supplies

In addition to tuition costs, you will also need to purchase books and supplies, as mentioned above. These could quickly add up, as they can be quite expensive. It is best to focus on money saving strategies, like borrowing books from the library, downloading e-books to your tablet, or purchasing used books online rather than from your school’s bookstore, so that you can drive down the costs of your education as much as possible. You can also make some of that money back by reselling your books once you are done using them.

There Could Be Medical Costs Involved

Another thing to keep in mind is that colleges will often require a certain set of vaccinations before they allow you to attend, particularly if you are going to be attending school in person rather than online. Therefore, you need to factor in the costs of going to your doctor and receiving the appropriate vaccines before you can even register for classes.

The Costs of Commuting to School

If you are not going to attend an online school to get your masters degree, another cost that you need to consider is the cost of commuting back and forth to your classes several days each week. You will need to maintain your car and pay for gas, and those costs can also add up over the course of your time in school. On the other hand, if you do not have your own vehicle, you will have to cover the cost of public transportation to get to and from school.

As you can see, there are several different costs that are involved with going to college for your masters degree. Once you graduate and can get a high paying job, though, all of these costs will be behind you.

4 Tips For Entering the Competitive Business Landscape

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So, you’ve got a great idea. You’ve crafted a solid business plan, you have some capital behind you and you’re ready to take the plunge and give it all that you have to make your dream a reality. Careful planning, a relentless drive to succeed and the stubborn tenacity that never takes no for an answer are the most important ingredients that you will need to make it happen. However, along the way, there are plenty of practical steps that you can take that will certainly play their part in helping you to reach your goal.

Finding the Right Space

Renting an office is usually one of, if not the biggest expense for any small business starting out. Fortunately, there are plenty of companies that offer exceptional quality serviced offices as a fraction of the price. Trusted names, such as Servcorp (http://www.servcorp.com.au/en/), offer beautiful, convenient spaces in prime locations that are fully equipped with everything that you will need to conduct your day-to-day business. Serviced offices offer everything from meeting rooms to WiFi, receptionist services, printing facilities and much more to help you present a professional image.

Online Presence

A user-friendly, smoothly functioning website is no longer a luxury. It is an absolute necessity for any business that wants to be taken seriously. Beware of cheap deals that appear too good to be true – they usually are. Just like a cheap car, a bargain-priced website will either look terrible, perform poorly, or come with significant catches that will limit its ability to grow along with you. Remember, your website is the public face of your business and your 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year sales staff. A good website will last you 3-5 years in most cases, so over that period of time will work out immensely cheaper than employing a sales person, so rather than scrimping, make sure you commit the time and resources to getting it perfect.

Plan For Growth

Of course, no-one wants to get too far ahead of themselves. On the other hand, the last thing you want is to reach a certain point of your growth where you turn around and, in a panic, ask yourself “what do I do now?” Putting together a detailed business plan that takes into account multiple growth scenarios is an absolute must. Inevitably, you will find that the business evolves in ways that you probably did not foresee. Nevertheless, at least having a general idea of where you are headed will help you to stay focused and moving forward towards a defined goal.

Understand Your Target Market

The business battleground is littered with the bodies of businesses that failed to properly understand their target market and paid the ultimate price. Even the best concepts can fail due to not meeting the wants and needs of the people to whom they are targeted, leaving the door open to potential competitors who have a stronger finger on the pulse. Whether you do your own research, engage a third party, or utilise cutting edge customer feedback tools understanding how your customers think about and use your product or service can be the greatest asset that you have. This information will be crucial when making the decisions that will drive the future direction of your venture.

Today’s business environment is more competitive and cut-throat than at any time in history. Conversely, the global nature of modern business offers previously unheard of opportunities for enormous success. If you play your cards right, you too have the chance to make it big and achieve your dreams.

Why More People are Choosing to Stay In Rather Than Spend Money Going Out

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Staying at home and “chillaxing”, as the former prime minister of Great Britain was fond of saying, is a new national pastime. People no longer feel the need to go out on the town and spend a fortune on food, drink and entertainment. They would rather put their feet up, relax in front of the TV, and enjoy the company of friends, family, and pets. So why is this the case?

Twenty years ago, ending the evening in a nightclub was viewed as the perfect end to a perfect day. You probably couldn’t hear yourself think amidst the din from the super woofer speakers, but at least you were having fun. By the time lights went on and security staff began throwing the stragglers out, you were footsore, tired, but feeling confident you had had a good night.

Millennials Stay at Home

Today, it’s a very different story. Millennials are staying away from nightclubs in their droves. They would rather go for a coffee or hang out at home playing online games such as Sun Bingo. They begrudge spending money on expensive taxis, entrance fees and overpriced drinks. They would rather spend their hard-earned cash on a decent coffee machine or a boxset of their favourite TV shows.

The Death of Pubs

Pubs are still a familiar haunt for young and old, but even pubs have taken a battering in recent years. A price war between supermarkets and breweries has seen pubs lose out. It’s now cheaper to buy a crate of beer from the local supermarket than it is to spend money on a few pints down at your local.

Beer isn’t the only reason we visit the pub. Pub quizzes are always popular, and pubs that serve food tend to attract plenty of customers. However, pubs that don’t offer anything extra, or are lacking in atmosphere, have closed in their droves. It’s a tough old world out there and if you don’t adapt, you die.

Personal Finance Woes

Money is also a factor. People have less disposable income to spend on entertainment, so they look for things to do at home that cost nothing. The economy may well be in recovery, but with all of the upheaval since Brexit, people are reluctant go too mad. After all, interest rates may be at an all-time low, but this doesn’t mean they are guaranteed to stay that way. Sooner or later, interest rates will rise and anyone with a ton of debt will suffer.

The good news is that you don’t need to go out to have fun. It is cheaper to stay in, and with so many entertainment options available for people who prefer to stay at home, you won’t be bored. Here are some options to get you started if you are struggling to think of anything to do at home.

Thanks to a range of different streaming services available these days, you can pay a small monthly fee and enjoy a huge catalogue of movies, TV shows and specially commissioned programmes. It’s the perfect way to spend an evening – curled up on the sofa with a full season of Game of Thrones, or whatever show you like.

Dinner parties are the new entertainment for middle-class couples. Instead of paying ridiculous sums of money to eat in a restaurant, you can take inspiration from your favourite TV chef and experiment with wacky ingredients. On the other hand, if it all goes horribly wrong, watch the Great British Bake-Off and drool.

Board games went out of fashion when video and computers became popular, but many classic board games have enjoyed a comeback in recent years. Old family favourites such as Monopoly and Scrabble are always good fun, and if there are a few of you playing, it’s even more entertaining. You can pick up board games cheaply enough, so buy a few in and the next time you have friends over, challenge them to a game.

If none of the above appeals, remember that the art of conversation is not yet dead. There is nothing wrong with watching a movie or playing a game, but nothing beats an invigorating conversation with someone who doesn’t share your outlook. Give it a try!

Reasons why you should invest in Australia real estate

If you’re considering a real property investment in Australia, but are apprehensive about the apparent rising costs of homes in the market, fear not. Searching for your home, whether it be your first property or something to add to your portfolio is still possible and valuable – buying now is as good time as any other.

Remember, the property market might be unpredictable, but if history and stats are to be believed, it always recovers due to population growth and supply & demand. The house and land packages in Sydney, NSW, Jordan Springs, Bingara Gorge, Calderwood Valley, The New Rouse Hill and many other locations in Australia are currently hot right now and are a good start if you’re looking to invest in good homes with equally good amenities and neighbourhood.

Looking for the right piece of real estate to purchase involves a number of considerations, but you can be assured that property is the best bet for your hard-earned money. Here are the reasons why you should invest in Australia real estate.

The booming property industry in Australia. When looking to for the right locations to invest in, looking for great returns and stability are two factors that will help you make a decision about what to buy. Based on the CoreLogic Housing Market and Economic Report for February 2016, real estate is a cornerstone of the Australian economy. It actually accounts for $6.4 trillion, while listed stocks are about $1.6 trillion and commercial real estate is around $700 billion.

The encouraging national market. Around and beyond the country is people looking to invest in real estate every day, and in some cases, competing for similar properties. Based on the Digital Finance Analytics’ September 2015 Property Imperative Report, there were more than 1.3 million households around the country in September 2015 that are looking to purchase a house. Only 15 percent are reportedly looking to invest, while around 84 percent are looking for owner-occupied properties.

Investors look for properties that provide strong returns, and they keep their eyes peeled on the capital cities and suburbs near it. This is why the house and land packages in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, and others are so hot in the market right now. Based on CoreLogic’s data, the annual capital gains growth in Sydney is projected to reach around 6 percent, while Melbourne can hit 7.4 percent.

The benefits of location. Location has always been a major key factor in assessing whether or not a property will gain value strongly over an amount of time, in turn boosting the worth of your investment. Since you’re making a big decision, it helps to get professional advice. Property agents will know exactly the right time and market circumstances to purchase a home for your exact needs. For instance, if you’re looking at Melbourne, house prices are not predicted to grow significantly for a few years, meaning that waiting for better prices could see a better return on the capital gains increase.

End note

The Australian Trade Commission also outlines some of the benefits of investing in properties in Australia, not just strictly for homeowners, but also for those who do real estate investing as full-time trade.

25th year of uninterrupted annual growth

Focused on innovation

Talented workforce

Connected to Asia

Etc.

Check out their website for complete information.

If Your Marketing Strategy Is Failing – Try Asking the Right Questions!

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Young graduates enter the world of business with highly idealistic goals of what their futures are going to look like. Most have high hopes of climbing the corporate ladder until they are seated comfortably in an upper management position where they will easily earn a six figure salary because, after all, they studied online business administration and are ready to hit the world running.

This is especially true of young marketing execs, who are ultra-enthusiastic about helping clients build a strong customer base. They have a business degree with a focus on marketing, but for some reason, they aren’t realizing the success they thought they’d see. Why? Perhaps they aren’t asking the right questions! [Read more…]