Know & Avoid the Ten Financial Mistakes People Commonly Make

At times the turbulent waters of finances can be difficult to navigate. Doing it alone, with no help or guide, can be even more challenging. So here are ten of the most common financial mistakes people make and why you need to be mindful of them in your life.

Not Making or Keeping to a Budget

Having and sticking to a budget can do wonders for your financial stability. Some have compared a budget to a road map. Instead of wondering where your money goes each and every month and scratching your head about why you are 200 dollars short for the month, you can know what you need to spend and where it will go. Far too many people do not have a budget or cannot stick to the one they have.

Credit Card Payments

If you pay your credit cards on time and can pay them off each month that is great. If you cannot pay them off fully, you need to try and at least pay more than the minimal payments each month. Many people get into financial trouble because they do not pay their credit bills on time or miss payments all together, which can wreak havoc on your credit score and ruin your financial future.

Not Seeking Help

Money may be a topic most avoid, but there does come a time when you need to talk. When you are drowning in your debt and cannot keep treading water, it is time to call out for help. Unfortunately, many people do not look for help with debt consolidation and negotiating better loan terms until it is too late.

Not Knowing Your Credit Report

Having a bad credit score can also sink you financially. Many people do not check their credit reports to see what is there and are surprised at what is found when a bank or lender checks the report. Being informed about your financial standing will go a long way in helping you out.

Not Planning for Emergencies

No one likes to think about it and at times it can be next to impossible to save anything, but whenever you can you need to squirrel money away for emergencies. The car breaks down, someone needs to go the ER, or something else big happens, and you need to be as prepared as possible so it does not put you that much further behind financially.

Buying Out of Your Means

One of the top reasons people get into debt trouble is that they buy outside of their means. Whether it is a house, car, boat, RV, computer, entertainment system, or anything else, many people spend much more than they can actually afford. They get a loan that they struggle to pay back and end up buried under the debt.

Not Carefully Reading the Terms of a Loan

It is important to keep your finances organized and one of the best ways to do this is to review all of your statements and notices. When you apply for a loan or a line of credit, review everything carefully. Many times people get trapped in a loan with a huge interest rate attached to it and that can be enough to sink them.

Not Being Diverse With Investments

Money can make you more money when it is invested wisely but far too many people stick their money into just one account or investment. Whatever you choose- stocks, savings, CDs, or other investments, it usually is a good idea to divvy your money up between several different options. This can also protect you in case one investment goes sour.

No Plans for Retirement

Whatever your intentions are for retirement, you need to do what you can to save and plan ahead for that time of your life. Get a credit check regularly to know where you stand financially. Get a savings started for when you retire. It may be 40 years down the road, but the time to start planning for it is now.

Not Having Plans for the Family When You Are Gone

Getting a life insurance policy is one of the best things you can do to help protect your family’s financial security when you are gone. Humans do not like to think about death but it is something we need to try our best to plan for, if only for the sake of our family.

Joy Mali is an active blogger who is fond of writing articles on Bad Credit Loans and advising people to get mortgage even with bad credit. Follow her on Twitter to know & avoid the financial mistakes people commonly make.

Financial Aspects Of Your College Preparation

Now is the right time to begin the discussion about funding for college with your parents. While you cant do much about securing financial aid during your freshman year, you can come up with a plan for how your family will go about paying for college.

Your parents may have been saving for your college education since you were little. Or, they may not have been so fortunate. Either way, youll need to sit down as a family and discuss the reality of the situation. How much are your parents willing to spend on your college education? How much do they expect you to contribute? About how much do you expect to get in financial aid?

Answering these questions early on save a lot of grief during your senior year. You dont want to fill out the FAFSA and realize in the April before you start college that you cannot afford to go due to lack of funding. There is always a way to get through school. You just need to start planning early to account for any difficulties along the way and to make sure both you and parents are on the same financial page.

Take virtual college campus tours

While you wont be applying to colleges for a while, you can still get a leg up on the competition by taking virtual campus tours for colleges of interest. Knowing what campuses look like, what their buildings look like and where things are located can put your mind at ease. Plus, it shows you how beautiful some colleges really are.

The best part about it is you dont have to leave the comfort of your home. Just visit the websites of colleges youre interested in and click on the virtual tour link (or something similar). Youll learn a lot and wont have to spend a dime. Plus, it can be kind of fun to browse around these different campuses.

Above all else, youll be further preparing yourself for the college experience. Just the act of searching through college websites and locating the virtual tour section is a good exercise. Youll need to become increasingly efficient when using college websites, or any website for that matter, as your high school career moves forward.

Volunteer over the summer

Just lazing the day away during the summer might sound nice, you should continue to work toward making your college application look appealing. You can do this by volunteering for a community organization.

Many students excuses range from they cant find volunteer opportunities to they dont know how to volunteer. Rest assured, the organizations youll be working with will be glad to have your assistance. Many high schools even post volunteer opportunities on campus. Check news bulletins and boards in the office for such opportunities.

Youd be surprised. There are plenty of organizations and companies out there that would absolutely love to have your help. All you need to do is ask. The added bonus is that doing volunteer work on your own time shows dedication, commitment and empathy for the cause of others. Plus, youll start up a good networking base that could lead to potential employment later on.

College administrators love to admit students that care about their community, can balance their schedules and work well with others. Add these excellent qualities to your resume by putting in some time with a volunteer organization.

What Business Owners Can Do to Plan Their Financial Outlook for 2014

Many small business owners lament that the past few years have been difficult financially. Yes, the recession hit hard and the recovery is going slowly. However, with the proper planning, any business can thrive no matter what the economic landscape. Unfortunately, many small business owners are so busy putting out daily fires and just trying to stay afloat that they never take the time to plan. That’s a mistake! So if you’re ready to make 2014 your best year yet, here are the key financial planning items to focus on for both the short- and long-term. Reduce your debt. If you’re like many small business owners, you may have financed your business on a credit card or through other personal loans. Now that debt is hanging over you like a dark cloud. Even worse, you’re likely putting any profits you make back into your business rather than putting more money toward paying off your debt. If your debt load is large and dragging you down paying it off can seem like a daunting task. The key is to stop trying to pay every creditor off at once. Rather, pick one creditor, preferably the one you owe the least to, and focus on paying that one off first. Pay the minimum on all your other debt, but put as much as you can each month toward this one bill. Then, when you pay that debt off, take the money you were allocating to the creditor and apply it, along with the minimum you were already paying, to your next lowest debt. Focus on paying just that one off. Then repeat the process with your next lowest creditor. Keep going until all your debts are paid. As you cross each paid creditor off your list this next year, you’ll feel your financial dark cloud start to break. Create a budget for your business. You likely have a budget for your personal life. You know how much you have to pay yourself to cover your mortgage or rent, your groceries, and other essentials. But chances are that you don’t have a detailed budget for your business. Now is the time to make one. Just as you do in your personal budget, start by making a list of all the business expenses you pay out every month. Be sure to include your salary in the equation. If you’re in the habit of paying yourself sporadically or a varied amount each month based on what’s left over, pick a steady, realistic income figure for yourself and calculate that in. Then add in the expenses that are possible but not customary, such as repair costs for equipment, additional staff, new software or services, etc. When you have a firm grasp on where all your business money is going each month, you can create strong financial goals for your company (see next point). Set financial goals. Of course you want your business to do better this year than it did last year. But do you have clear monthly and yearly goals mapped out? Most small business owners don’t. Now that you know how much you need to earn each month to cover your business expenses, take a look at what your business brought in over the past few years. Look for any trends, such as a 10% increase each year, stagnate sales year to year, or even a progressive decline. After you have a clear assessment of what your business did historically, create financial goals for the coming year. But don’t just state any goal because it sounds good or would be nice to achieve. Make sure you’re setting S.M.A.R.T. goals-that is, goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Here’s what each word really means: oSpecific: A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. Goals must be clear and unambiguous. When goals are specific, they state exactly what is expected. For example, stating -We will do $1 million in sales- is specific. Saying -We will do better than last year- is not. oMeasurable: Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. If your goals are not measurable, you never know whether you’re making progress toward their successful completion. Having monthly financial goals helps you measure whether you’re on track for your yearly goal. oAttainable: Goals must be realistic and attainable. The best goals require you to stretch a bit to achieve them, but they aren’t extreme. That is, the goals are neither out of reach nor below standard performance. Goals that are set too high or too low become meaningless and will be ignored. oRelevant: To be relevant, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and relevant; you are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. Realize that a high goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force. oTime-Bound: A goal must have a target date. -Someday- won’t work. But if you anchor it within a timeframe, -by December 31, 2014,- then you’ve set your unconscious mind into motion to begin working on the goal. A deadline too far in the future is too easily put off. A goal that’s set too close is not only unrealistic, it’s discouraging. That’s why you need both monthly (immediate) and yearly (future-oriented) financial goals to strive for. Your Best Year Yet No matter how many ups and downs your business has had over the years, you can make a giant financial leap this next year – if you follow the suggestions outlined. The more priority and urgency you place on your business’s financial outlook, the more success you’ll have this coming year and for decades to come. Kris Miller, Estate Planning Expert and Safe Money Strategist, will guide you on how you can successfully prepare your retirement plan. For more information on how Kris can help you, call (951) 926-4158 or email and see her #1 Best Selling book at