Category: Finances

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!

Sales Enablement Explained: What You Need to Know About Sales Enablement

If you don’t have a background in the world of sales, you may not be familiar with the concept of sales enablement. Even those in the industry have experienced some confusion around the concept and what it can mean for modern business.

The reality, however, is that understanding and implementing sales enablement for your company can help you succeed in the long-run. Want to learn more? Read on and we’ll walk you through everything that you need to know about sales enablement.

What is Sales Enablement?

To put it in the most basic words possible: sales enablement is the act of giving a sales team tools and information to be as productive as possible. Yes, this might sound basic or even redundant. 

However, proper implementation of a sales enablement mindset is likely more involved than you assume. It involves a great deal of research, organization, and presentation.

Sales enablement is, at the end of the day, more about the buyer than it is the seller. Enablement is the process of putting as much information about the target buyer in the hands of your sales team, and increasing sales as a result of this work.

How educated is your average salesperson about the buyer? They probably know the product in and out, but do they know what pushes a buyer to make a decision? Do they understand what buttons to push to produce a successful sale?

If the answer is no, sales enablement is something that your business might need.

Putting Sales Enablement Into Action

How can you put sales enablement ideas into action in your office? 

The first thing you’ll need to do is identify what materials and information you want to make available to buyers. What does a buyer need to know to help them make an informed and confident purchasing decision?

Once you’ve organized all the information you need about buyers, you’ll want to put your sales team through the proper training. It’s time to look at your current training program and see if it isn’t in need of a serious upgrade.

The truth is that it probably is. Consumer behavior has changed quite a bit in modern times and it’s important you try to keep up with these changes.

On top of that, you’ll want to look at the materials that you’re providing to your sales team. The ones that you intend for them to share with buyers. Are these materials as strong as they could be in terms of capturing buyer interest? 

If the answer is no, then it’s also time to update these as well. Failure to provide your team with the very best materials isn’t going to help your sales at the end of the day.

There are many more steps you can take to practice sales enablement in your office, but these basics are a great place to get started.

Practicing Sales Enablement at the Workplace

If you want to see your profits soar, you’ll need to implement a serious sales enablement mindset in your place of work. The above information can help.

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

 

Is Flipping Houses Worth It? The Pros and Cons of Getting Into Flipping

In the US, nearly 50,000 homes were flipped in the first quarter of 2019 alone.

House flipping has become incredibly popular as people seek a way to make big money. Purchasing a house, doing it up, and selling it on for a profit is something many people are trying to do.

Is flipping houses worth it? Is the amount of time, effort and money you put into it worth the rewards?

Read on as we look at some of the pros and cons.

Pros

People wouldn’t flip houses if there were some serious upsides. Here are some of the most important.

Big Potential Profits

The number one reason people flip houses is to make money. Houses sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and if you can boost a house price by even a fraction, there are thousands of dollars to be made.

The beauty is that when house prices are on an upward trend anyway, your house is worth more from one day to the next without even doing anything. By updating and upgrading the house, you have the potential to make a serious return on your investment.

Gain Experience

Flipping houses is a complex task. The more you do it, the better you get at it.

When you sell a house you’ve flipped, you’ve suddenly got a big chunk of money just sitting ready to be used on your next project. All the mistakes you’ve made on previous projects will help you to do things better this time around and make even more profit.

Sense of Achievement

At the end of a project, you should have a house that looks so much better than when you bought it.

After all the hard work you’ve put in, you deserve the sense of achievement that this will give you. It can become quite addictive.

Cons

If flipping houses is so good, why isn’t everyone doing it? That’s because there are a number of downsides too.

Financial Risk

Whilst flipping houses has the potential to make you a lot of money, it can also lose you a lot of money.

If you spend your budget updating and upgrading the property you buy, only to find that it sells for below the price you paid, you can lose thousands and thousands of dollars. You may also find it takes a lot longer to sell than you predicted. It’s a risk that you need to take seriously.

Stress

With so much money on the line, it’s inevitable that there will be a level of stress.

There’s also all the hard work you have to put into the project. You need to plan everything from what color to paint the walls, to how to get rid of all the waste (click to read more) and keeping on top of it all can really wear you down.

On the flip side, if you do make a good profit, you can afford to take some time off to recharge before the next project.

Is Flipping Houses Worth It?

Is flipping houses worth it? At the end of the day, that’s a question only you can answer.

Do you have the funds to take on a project? Can you afford the financial risk? Are you willing to put up with all the hard work and stress that will come with it?

If you do decide to take on a house flipping project, we wish you the best of luck. For more tips and advice be sure to check out the rest of the site.

Finding Health Insurance When You’re Self Employed

One of the biggest trade-offs for self-employed people is the benefits that go with an office job. Sure, you have the freedom and flexibility to do what you want, but you’re going to have to figure out health insurance.

You might think that you have no options to get insurance because it’s too expensive. With the average monthly premium a whopping $574 a month, it’s easy to write off health insurance as impossible.

You might be surprised to learn that self-employed health insurance is a possibility. You just have to know where to look.

Keep reading to discover the many ways you can get health insurance when you’re self-employed.

1. Partner or Spouse

If you’re self-employed and your partner or spouse is gainfully employed by a company with good benefits, you may be able to be added on to their insurance policy.

Every company is going to have a different approach to providing coverage for spouses and partners. Some allow it, or they will pay a small percentage of the premium. Other companies don’t allow it at all.

You should have your spouse check with their HR department to find out if it’s worth it or not.

2. Group Insurance Plans

Do you belong to a trade or industry association? You may be able to get group health insurance at a reduced rate.

There are plenty of organizations that have group plans. With a group plan, a number of people are on the same plan, spreading the risk across many people for insurance companies to cover.

The reduced risk for insurance companies can result in a lower premium payment.

3. Short-Term Insurance Plans

The most affordable health insurance plans are short-term health insurance plans. These were initially plans that were meant to cover you for a short period of time, like if you were in between jobs.

Now providers can insure people for up to a year. Vera Health is an example of a short term health insurance provider that can give you longer coverage. You can find out more about Vera Health here.

This is a great option if you don’t go to the doctor much and you don’t have a huge need for medical care. You have a lower premium and you’re still covered in case you have a huge emergency.

4. COBRA

If you recently left a job and had insurance there, you can qualify for COBRA. COBRA continues that same coverage, though you’re responsible for the premium.

That can be much more expensive, but it may be worth it if you had a great health care plan.

5. Health Care Marketplace

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, many self-employed have access to affordable health care. You’ll need to go to healthcare.gov during the enrollment period to apply for health insurance.

There are special circumstances that may allow you to enroll outside of the standard enrollment period.

Here’s how the healthcare exchange works. You fill out an application on the website. You’ll then find out how much in tax credits you’ll receive. You can choose to have all of those credits applied to the premium payments or not.

You’ll get a bunch of options for healthcare plans in your area at different price points and quality.

Some cheaper plans may have huge deductibles or have high co-pays. Other plans may have lower deductibles and co-pays, but they’re more expensive.

Once you choose your plan and enroll, you’ll get a welcome package from your new health insurance provider. From that point forward, you deal directly with the health insurance provider and pay your bill to them.

The ACA and Taxes

There’s a special section about the ACA and taxes because the two are intertwined, but not really understood. When you apply for healthcare on the exchange, you have to give your estimated income for the upcoming year.

For example, if you enrolled at the end of 2019, you have to predict your 2020 income. For self-employed people, that can feel like an impossible task.

You should take into account your net income for the year, so look at your income and subtract the expenses.

The reason why this is important is that this figure is how your tax credit is calculated. The tax credit is applied to your health insurance premium and sent right to your insurance carrier. You never see it.

You don’t notice it until the beginning of 2021 when you get form 1095-A from the Health Care Marketplace. This tells you how much you received in tax credits during the year and this gets reported to the IRS.

Your job is to reconcile your earnings for the year with the tax credit you received. If you earned more than you anticipated, you’re going to have to pay some of that tax credit back.

However, if you earned less than you thought you would, you’ll get a tax refund.

You want to track your earnings and spending throughout the year to make sure that you’re on track. If you think you’re going to earn more, report that to the Healthcare Marketplace to have your tax credit adjusted.

It’s much better than getting a huge surprise on your tax bill in the next year.

Self-Employed Health Insurance Is Possible

Being self-employed can feel like a complete dream sometimes. It’s hard, but you’re your own boss and you have the complete freedom to do what you want as long as you’re serving your clients.

One of the caveats that they don’t tell you when you become self-employed is that it can seem impossible to find self-employed health insurance.

It used to be out of reach for many people, but there are more affordable options than before. You can get anything from short-term insurance to group insurance.  If you do get insured through the Healthcare Marketplace, just watch out for your taxes.

Do you want more thrifty ways to live and earn a great living? Check out this site again for more helpful articles.