Category: Finances

3 Long-Term Financial Planning Items You’ll Want to Figure Out Today

Everyone needs to think about the future. Life is full of many twists and turns, and failure to prepare for them could leave you in a precarious position. You’ll need to embrace the idea of long-term financial planning if you want to come out the other side of life in one piece.

Setting financial goals can help you get in control of your personal financial future. However, if you’ve never thought of the long-term in this way, it can be difficult to determine how to get started.

What are some financial planning tactics that you should look into if you want to set yourself up for a more stable future? Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know. 

1. Considering Retirement

We don’t all work forever, even if we do for most of our lives. The last period of most people’s lives is marked by some sort of retirement. This is where the routine of work is cast aside and the idea of freedom is embraced. Usually, sometimes after your 60s. 

Retirement is often the biggest subject on the mind of many people as they look towards their financial futures. It’s important to really think about what your retirement might look like, what your goals and hopes are, and how much money you might need to live in the way that you envision. 

Doing so can be a challenge for many Americans.

You can start off by creating a budget for these years. Think about what a week in your retired life might look like: where will you live, what will you do? This can help you to create an estimated budget for what this lifestyle might cost.

Don’t forget to factor other costs into your week-by-week life at this point. Higher healthcare costs, for example, will likely be difficult to avoid. This is just a reality of getting older.

If you think you’ll have money coming in at this point, whether it be through some form of income or through social security, you’ll want to factor this in as well. Retirement plan payouts and pensions should also be considered. 

Your expected expenses minus your expected income should give you a number that will represent how much you’ll need to have saved up for retirement.

How much are you saving right now on an annual basis? If you haven’t been keeping track, now is a good time to start doing so. Have a retirement date in mind and see how much you will have saved by that time if you keep up at the same rate of saving as you are now.

How are things looking? You should have a clear idea by doing this simple math. If you need to start saving more in order to reach your retirement goals, it’s time to start doing so. Look at your current budget and see where you can divert funds.

2. Late In Life Living

Another big element of late in life living you need to consider? Where you’ll be living. It is obviously difficult to plan for what your situation might be many years into the future. You don’t know how your health might be. You don’t know if you’ll be alone or not.

Maybe you’ll be able to live on your own, take care of all your responsibilities, and travel from place to place freely. Maybe you won’t be able to and you’ll need assistance. 

You might need to look into nursing homes near me if you’re interested in getting a view of what all the options might be like. If you think you might end up needing assistance in your later years, you’ll need to budget for this kind of care as well.

There are many different kinds of retirement homes out there and they can vary wildly in price. Looking into the many options and considering which might be right for you can help you plan for your future.

3. Life Insurance

Do you have a life insurance policy currently? If not, it’s something that you might want to consider. If you have a family, part of your long-term financial planning should be considering how you will care for them in the future, even once you are no longer on the Earth.

Getting a strong life insurance policy is generally considered the best way to go about this. The earlier in life you lock in a life insurance policy, the better price you’ll get for it. If you wait too late, you might end up locking yourself in at extremely high premiums.

This is especially true if you do so once health complications have already arisen. It can be extremely difficult to get proper life insurance if you have pre-existing conditions. The earlier you can obtain it, the healthier you are, the better.

There are many different kinds of life insurance out there and you’ll need to do your research and decide which is best for you. Whole life insurance covers you without question until death, while term life insurance covers you for a certain number of years before expiring.

It’s important to shop around and see what the provider might offer you the best rate.

Long-Term Financial Planning Tips and Tricks

If you think it’s time to start thinking about your later years, you’ll want to dig into some of the long-term financial planning tips listed above. Each of these subject matters is important to think about if you’re hoping to ensure a stable and comfortable future for yourself in your later years.

Need more health and family advice? Keep scrolling our blog for more.

DIY Your Favorite Restaurant Meals and Save Money!

Take-out night is a staple in American households to give everyone a delicious treat. All that take-out adds up to over a third of each dollar you spend on food. 

When you pay for a meal at a restaurant, you’re paying for more than the food. The price you pay also covers labor and other overhead costs at the restaurant. 

What happens if you take that money and recreate your restaurant favorites at home? Without the costs of running a restaurant, you save money on food. 

This guide contains tips on the best ways to save money with DIY meals. Start your savings adventure by using one of these recipe ideas for tomorrow’s dinner.

The Best Ways to Save Money and Eat Your Restaurant Favorites

One way to save money on restaurant recipes is to use cheaper meat. Sometimes something as simple as using chicken instead of beef makes a difference.

Fresh fish costs 3-4 times more than other meats. The best way to save money on fish is to catch your own. Grab your inflatable fishing boat and spend the weekend stocking up on fish.

Try Upscale Olive Garden DIY Recipes

Unless you eat nothing but soup and breadsticks, Olive Garden costs a fortune. You can recreate your restaurant favorites at home with a little time and effort.

The best way to save money is to pick food recipes that use items you buy often. Pasta is a staple in every pantry, so pick chicken scampi or alfredo to cook. Don’t forget to add breadsticks and salad for a real restaurant experience at home.

Surprise your family with an Olive Garden favorite for dessert. Tiramisu is a no-bake dessert you can whip up in the afternoon. It might be cheap and easy, but your family will think it cost a fortune. 

Food Recipes to Try for Taco Bell DIY Night

With the recent changes to the Taco Bell menu, some of your favorites might vanish. Stay ahead of their changes, and save money, by making Taco Bell at home.

Everyone can make a regular bean burrito with red sauce and onions. Branch out with your Taco Bell DIY and try harder recipes, like the Crunchwrap. If you’re watching your weight, make a black bean Crunchwrap, instead.

Nachos are always a crowd-pleaser. Make dinnertime interactive and set up a taco bar made with a Taco Bell twist. Look for packages of Taco Bell meat seasoning to ensure everything tastes right.

Make These Restaurant Favorites to Save Money and Eat Like Royalty

Often when you think about saving money on food, it means eating less. In reality, you save money by eating at home more often. At home, you’re not paying the overhead costs that raise restaurant prices.

Go back to eating out as a special occasion a few times a year. That gives you time to save up and treat yourself to a real gourmet feast. 

Are you looking for more ways to save money? Take a look through our articles to find tons of money-saving tips and tricks.

Working Remote: Pros and Cons

2020 was the year where working remotely became the norm for so many thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you ask 10 people their opinions on working from home they’ll give you 10 answers.

We all continue this adventure with varying degrees of success. One thing is certain, those working from home aren’t headed back to the office any time soon. Many businesses are ready to adopt permanent work from home models.

If this is the future of work as we know it, we’ve learned the pros and cons of working remote this past year. Read on to learn more.

Pros of Working From Home

There are many benefits of working from home. After 10 months, they might be harder to see. It never hurts to be reminded.

Schedule Flexibility

When you work from home, you have more control of when you work. You can take breaks whenever you want, eat a long lunch, and come back to work refreshed.

If you have a family, working from home allows you to better adjust your schedule to meet their needs. Doctor appointments and school activities are far easier to fit into a day.

Higher Productivity

Your boss may like this more than you do, but remote work increases productivity. When a worker is in a comfortable space, they tend to work better. If you’re single, you may notice you’re better off with less co-worker distraction.

Since you are so comfortable in your surroundings and less distracted, your workday extends. There’s no official end to your day.

Autonomy

You can work from wherever you want as long as there is a broadband connection. If you continue to work remotely after the COVID-19 pandemic ends, think of the possibilities.

No longer bound by a need to be in the office, you can take a vacation whenever you please. Imagine waking up in a beautiful, beachfront location to put in your work.

If you take advantage of this autonomy, there are essentials you need to pack for working on the road. Read more about them.

Cons of Working From Home

While we’ve adjusted, those who work remotely feel the negative aspects the longer this pandemic wears on. After all this time, workers are now familiar with these cons of working from home. 

Stress

Let’s be real. The thought of working in your pajamas all day appealed to you. You’re not alone. The problem is, now your home is your office and you suffer from a lack of separation.

You’re responsible for your work duties. You’re also responsible for teaching your kids. What about that pile of laundry? For those working from home with a family, it’s hard to tell where work ends and life begins.

Lack of Motivation

For many workers, it’s harder to get out of bed if they have nowhere to go. While industries see an overall rise in productivity, many individuals claim they’re falling behind.

It’s hard not to. With nothing to do but work and nowhere to go, workers exhaust their motivation.

Working Remote Is Good and Bad

Many of us continue working remote with no end in sight. While we’ve all made necessary adjustments, there are some who long to return to the office. There’s little doubt work culture changed forever.

Do you need more tips on how to work from home? Check out the rest of our site! 

7 Reasons You Need an Emergency Fund and Why Your Family Will Love You For It

Did you know most Americans can’t afford an emergency that costs 1,000 dollars? If you are one of them, we can help.

Are you wondering why you should have an emergency fund set aside? Not to worry! In this guide, we’ll go over family emergency examples.

Want to learn more? Keep reading to find out.

1. What Happens During a Medical Emergency?

You or your family could face a future emergency health situation. You or your loved ones might need expensive treatment or surgery.

Not everyone has health insurance to cover this kind of incident. Set aside money, so you don’t have to worry about what to do.

2. Wide-Scale Emergencies Happen

People couldn’t have imagined a couple of months ago how things would change with the spread of COVID-19. The stay-at-home order has affected many families. People are unable to work.

You can never expect what emergency’s around the corner. Prepare an emergency fund for the future, so you’ll have enough to cover essential bills.

3. Pets Can Get Hurt or Sick

What would happen if you received an overwhelming pet bill? Pets become part of the family, and it would be devastating not to be able to afford the treatment. You can relax knowing you have some money put away.

4. Financial Aid Can Get Delayed

The government has been providing aid to those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Help may be available, but it takes time for the money to arrive. If the IRS doesn’t have your direct deposit details, the funds will get delayed.

With your emergency fund, you won’t have to worry about a pressing expense that you can’t afford.

5. You Have to Move Across the Country

Some people get new jobs or transfer to a new state far away from their current one. Some employers help with moving expenses, but they might not cover the full amount. Temporary housing and the cost of moving can add up fast.

6. Your Vehicle Breaks Down

Not being able to drive can impact how you get to work, shop for food, and visit family. Sometimes a car only needs a new part. The worst-case scenario is that you need to replace the entire vehicle.

Car maintenance can become expensive. Your emergency fund will help you navigate this stressful scenario.

7. Massive Repairs on Your Home

Some insurance companies will cover household problems. If you have a significant deductible, it will be difficult to come up with the money to cover all the repairs. When you have an emergency fund, you won’t have to panic if your basement floods.

Learn more about what to do if you’re struggling with paying your bills.

Now You Know Some Family Emergency Examples

We hope this guide on the importance of an emergency fund was helpful. With these family emergency examples, consider how you would manage. Start setting aside funds to grow your emergency fund.

Bookmark our site so you can always return and check out our other helpful resources.

How to Keep Your Business Spotless: A Commercial Cleaning Checklist

Now more than ever, keeping public areas like your work environment clean is vital to public health and safety. The coronavirus outbreak has taken a devastating toll on the economy as well as our personal and professional lives. More than anything, it’s changed the way we think about cleanliness. 

Keeping your business clean is about much more than making it look nice. It’s about preventing the spread of bacteria and viruses. If you’re looking for a commercial cleaning checklist, you’ve come to the right place.

Keep reading for everything you need to know.

Your Commercial Cleaning Checklist

Whether you’re cleaning your business space yourself or you’ve paid someone to do it for you, you need to make sure the job is getting done right. You can start with this cleaning guide.

1. Horizontal Surfaces

Horizontal surfaces collect dust, grime, germs, and bacteria. Make sure you’re wiping down all horizontal surfaces from floor to ceiling while performing your work or office cleaning duties. This includes window sills, desks, tables, the tops of equipment, and more.

2. High-Touch Areas

One area to focus disinfectant cleaning is on high-touch areas such as keyboards, phones, desks, chairs, door handles, and hand railings. For an all-encompassing method, look into UV-C Disinfection, a type of light-based bacteria and virus killer.

3. Floors, Mats, and Rugs

Floors are an obvious point on your commercial cleaning checklist. However, don’t forget to clean any mats or rugs as well. Rugs collect a lot of dirt and dust and need to be vacuumed as regularly as carpeted areas.

4. Common Areas

Bathrooms, kitchens, and break rooms require extra attention to your office cleaning checklist, as these are high-traffic areas prone to more dirt, grime, and bacteria. Make sure you’re using disinfectant cleaners due to the nature of these rooms. 

5. Trash Receptacles and Refillable Items

Next, your janitorial checklist needs to include refilling supplies such as toilet paper, paper towels, soap dispensers, hand-sanitizers, tissue boxes, and whatever else your employees rely on. This also includes emptying trash receptacles and replacing the bin liners.

6. Glass and Windows

Don’t forget to use glass cleaner specifically for windows and mirrors. Clear glass on your exterior windows can go a long way to making the office feel brighter and cleaner. Similarly, clear mirrors in the bathroom are a must for making it feel sanitary.

7. Deep Cleaning Extras

Before we wrap up, let’s talk briefly about some deep-cleaning options you should perform. Once a month, add the following to your commercial cleaning checklist:

  • Ceiling fans
  • Light fixtures
  • HVAC vents and filters (filter replacement requirements can vary)
  • Vacuum behind and underneath furniture
  • Shampoo carpets
  • Wash trash receptacles
  • Clean out the refrigerator
  • Vacuum/clean furniture

Looking for More Great Advice and Information?

Remember, your commercial cleaning checklist will depend on the type of business you run. For example, an office cleaning checklist will be very different from a gym or warehouse cleaning checklist. Regardless, it’s up to you to make sure your business is clean and safe for your employees, clients, and customers.

If you’re looking for more advice or information, be sure to check out some of our other articles before you go. We have content on everything from raising kids to running a small business!

How Can I Find a Bankruptcy Attorney That I Can Trust?

You’ve struggled for many months, faced huge obstacles, but eventually, your debt has come to get the better of you. This is a situation hundreds of thousands of Americans face each year as they file for bankruptcy.

Filing for bankruptcy is a serious step and one that needs to be taken with the utmost care. For that reason, you’ll likely want to hire a bankruptcy attorney to walk through the process with you.

If you’re already having trouble making ends meet, it might feel impossible to find a bankruptcy attorney that you can both afford and trust. However, there are ones out there. How can you find the right attorney for you?

Read on and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.

Look For Passion and Experience

If you’re filing for bankruptcy, you’re likely in one of the darker chapters of your life. Things are going well, and you need help. The last thing you want to do at this time is to hire someone who’s not going to truly be there for you.

In the same way that you wouldn’t want a life-saving surgery to be done by an indifferent doctor, you don’t want the person representing your case to be uninvested.

One of the main things you should look out for when you sit down to talk to potential attorneys is the passion they seem to bring to their work. You can assume that this same passion will be applied to your case as well.

Get to know their background. What brought them into bankruptcy law and what has their experience been in working cases? 

The more experience an attorney has, the better equipped they might be to handle your particular case. An experienced attorney likely has seen all kinds of different scenarios before and will know how to approach whatever obstacles arise during the submission of your case.

There’s nothing wrong with hiring a newer attorney, but it’s hard to beat the reassurance that hiring a seasoned vet can bring. If you can find someone who has both passion and years of experience under your belt, the should be at the top of your list as far as hiring goes.

They Are Clear in Their Communication

Bankruptcy is a complicated legal process. There are a lot of different potential legal options in front of you, and you might not be certain what path is right for you.

An attorney should be able to evaluate your case and see all of the available options. But even more importantly, they should be able to articulate those options to you in a way that you clearly understand.

You, as a client, shouldn’t be expected to have an encyclopedic knowledge of the law. Your attorney should be able to walk you through the reality of your situation in a clear, concise, and calming manner.

Good attorneys, like those from this law firm, will help you to understand the situation so that you can come to your own decisions. They won’t guide you from above, they’ll seek to make you a partner in your own future.

That might mean suggesting alternative paths forward. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy isn’t always the best move for everyone, and there may be other ideas that your attorney has for how best to handle your case.

An attorney who can weigh options, present them in a plain manner, and allow you to come to your own conclusions is the kind of person you want on your team.

Rely on Personal Referrals

If you’re like many Americans, you might trust the word of a friend or family member more than you do an advertisement on the radio. And why not? There’s nothing better than a personal recommendation.

The fact of the matter is that if you have a friend or loved one who had a good experience with a bankruptcy attorney, you’ll likely have a good experience too. This is especially true if your loved one had a similar financial situation to what you currently are experiencing.

It’s worth asking around or posting on social media to see if anyone has any recommendations for bankruptcy attorneys. Of course, you might not feel comfortable in advertising your personal financial situation in this way. You can always say it’s for a friend if you need to cover your tracks.

Check With Your Local Bar Association

If you’re really not sure where to start with your hunt for the perfect bankruptcy attorney, you might want to contact your local bar association.

Most bar associations have a built-in referral service. If you call in and give the details of your case, the bar might be able to recommend a local attorney who is suited for your situation. They’ll even be able to narrow it down by those attorneys whose rates fit your budget.

Not all bar associations will be as helpful as others, but it’s most certainly worth a call if you’re looking for a place to get started. You will be able to rest easy knowing the attorney’s you’ll get connected will have the approval of the bar.

Hiring A Trustworthy Bankruptcy Attorney

If you’re in a tough situation and need to file Chapter 7, you’ll want to hire a good bankruptcy attorney. The above tips can ensure you hire someone you can trust with your case. Filing is never an easy task, but it can be easier with a passionate and experienced attorney at your side.

Need more legal advice and tips? Keep scrolling our blog for more.

 

Advertising Success: Here Are 4 Game-Changing Facebook Ad Strategies

Facebook ads are gold. Why?

They have the potential to help you reach your target audience and boost sales. The only caveat about this platform is that it isn’t an easy thing to use — especially if you are inexperienced. 

If you want to create Facebook ads that grow your business, you need to have a strategy. Keep reading to learn 4 Facebook ad strategies that generate a positive return on investment.

1. Take Advantage of Targeting

Successful Facebook ad campaigns take advantage of targeting options. What’s targeting?

It pinpoints specific people who will most likely buy your products or use your service. Facebook advertising allows your ads to be shown to the right people — your target audience. 

There are ways you can use targeting to make your ad campaign successful. One of these ways is creating an audience. You can define your ad audience based on things like location, age, interests, and demographics.

You can also create something called lookalike audiences. This allows you to target new prospective customers based on your current customers. Essentially, it resembles your most loyal customers. 

2. Choose the Right Ad Creative

Don’t underestimate the power of your ad creative. Stock images or bland photos of your products isn’t going to give you the results you want. It’s key to choose ad creatives your target wants to engage with.

The more entertaining your campaign is the better. Why?

They don’t feel like ads. Nothing turns people off than an ad that makes it obvious that they’re selling something. You want to ensure that your ads are eye-catching.

One way you can make your ad grab your target’s attention is through video. In fact, the average engagement rate for Facebook videos is 6.3 percent. Facebook video ads also have the lowest cost-per-click, so it’s an affordable option for businesses.

Another important element of your ad creative is a strong call-to-action. Using the Facebook CTA button could triple your click-through rate. 

3. Pick the Right Ad

For a successful campaign, it’s imperative to set Facebook ads expectations. With the many options you have, it can be difficult to choose which ad is right for your business.

There are a few goals that help you choose which ad to use for your campaign. One of these goals is awareness, which means that you want to increase your reach and get your ad in front of new eyes.

The next goal to help you choose the right ad is consideration. This encourages engagement between your ads and your target audience.

Another goal is conversions, which help your prospective customers make a purchase. 

4. A/B Test Your Facebook Ads

One of the most overlooked Facebook ads strategies is A/B testing. A well-planned out strategy will fall flat without testing. 

A/B testing, or split testing, is a method that runs different variations of an ad against each other. The purpose to identify which ads are the most successful and which are not performing well.

Testing helps to better refine your ads and your Facebook ads strategies.

Are You Ready to Use These Facebook Ad Strategies?

Facebook ads that give you the results you want are not easy to accomplish.

Great ads that deliver take time and effort to create. These Facebook ad strategies will help you optimize your ads and grow your business.

For more advertising tips, follow this blog!