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Personal Finance

How To Choose A Suitable Bank For Your Finances

Choosing a suitable bank for your financial needs can be quite tricky, especially if this is your first time opening a new account with a bank. Different people may have different preferences as to how their finances are handled and the type of account that they’d like to store their money in. And there is no one account that can be right for everyone. So here are a list of things that you should consider when choosing a suitable bank for your finances.

#1 Fund Security

Of course the first thing anyone looks at is whether the bank can store their funds as securely as possible. Be sure that the bank that you choose is publicly listed on the share market and is also certified by the necessary government bodies and also the Federal and National Reserves.

 #2 Deposit Facilities

Find out how easy it is to deposit or cash in checks at your bank. Note also if they have self-service deposit or cheque deposit machines that can make trips to deposit some cash a breeze. This depends on how many times you’d actually be making visits to your local bank to make physical deposit. It would be a bonus if they offered online deposit services to speed deposits up.

#3 ATM Frequency

This a no-brainer as well. If you’re going to keep your cash in the bank, it’s only natural that you need an ATM to be able to withdraw cash, whenever you need it at hand. Be sure to research if your bank of choice has an ATM location close to you and also if their ATMs can be found frequently in your area. If not, there may be some extra cost incurred, if you have to use ATMs of other banks.

#4 Online Banking Options

In this age of technological advancements, you may not want to spend half your day queueing up in a line at the bank. Check if your bank of choice offers online banking options, which you can easily access with an internet connection and a laptop or smart device. Some of these online banking options also allows you to pay by mobile, using the balance you have in your bank.

#5 Fees

It may not be much, really, but some banks offer super low annual fees and you might as well take advantage of those, since they’re available. Fees for different banking account types may vary so you may want to do some research on how much these fees are with the bank of your choice and compare them with competitors with similar services and facilities.

#6 Minimum First Deposit

Most banks require a first deposit before you’re allowed to register for a banking account. Be sure that you are able to afford this amount and that it’s not going to put a huge dent in your financial budgeting for the month. Aside from that, banks also impose a minimum banking balance, which has to remain in your account, be sure to go with the lowest amount for this one.

Although it can be confusing at first, picking out a banking service that matches what you need in terms of managing your finance can be quite a breeze, if you know what you’re looking for. These few points are the quickest way for you to figure out what kind of banking service fits your financial needs. Good luck picking a bank that works for you.

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Personal Finance

Paying Off Loans Early – Easy Tips & Tricks

Having a huge amount left to pay to the bank on a loan can be quite the burden sometimes. Be it credit card loans, home loans or auto loans, most loan borrowers only have one goal and that is to quickly pay off your loans early and be debt-free within a few decades. But, don’t fret, we have put together a few tips and tricks that can help you to clear your loans faster and put you on your way to financial freedom.

#1 Make An Extra Payment

Making an extra payment every time you make your monthly loan payments cuts your loan interest time and duration in half. This way, you not only pay less interest to the bank, but you also will be debt-free in just half the time of your loan tenure.

#2 Round Off Payments

Say you have to make a payment of $245.25 per month for your car loan, round that up to $300 per month and paying the rounded off amount continuously would lead you to making three extra monthly payments a year!

#3 Search For Discounts

That’s right! Even loans have some form of discounts. For student loans, they may have schemes that offer you a discount when you make a one-off payment to settle your entire student debt. For other loans, there may be options to get a reduction of interest rates when you opt for paperless or digital statements for your loans.

#4 Take A Second Job

The most efficient way to make more payments on your loans is by having a second source of income. Try baby-sitting or driving an Uber after your day job to get a bit more money to put towards paying off your loans.

#5 Make Some Extra Cash

Do you have unused books, electrical good and home items lying around? Sell them on Amazon and E-bay. One man’s trash can be another man’s treasure so you’d definitely be getting some offers on your second-hand stuff in no time.

#6 Adjust Your Repayment Style

If you’re used to making the monthly payment for your loan, try switching it to make bi-weekly payments. Not only are you making smaller payments every two weeks, but you’d also be gaining less interest as your payments are being applied more frequently.

#7 Refinance Your Loan

Take out another loan, usually a personal loan, with a much lower interest rate, to finance a current loan with a higher interest rate. This works best on home loans, which have a huge interest rate and also car loans, granted that you do not have too many payment commitments at the time.

#8 Use A Bare Minimum Budget

Make a few small changes to your lifestyle and start living by spending on only the bare necessities. Replace groceries with the cheaper versions, like cereals, milk, spreads and even toilet paper. You’d be surprised at how much you’ve saved just from cutting out a few bucks here and there.

Paying off your loans early can be quite the struggle, but that does not mean that you cannot find ways to clear your loans off in the soonest. Make small changes to your everyday lifestyle and that itself would be able to help you save quite a bit that you can use towards paying off your loans. Getting a side hustle may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but simple jobs that you can do from home should do the trick to help you pay off those loans in the shortest amount of time.

Good luck!

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Personal Finance

Financial Tips For Single Moms

Being a single mom is definitely not something that you can pull off that easily. From taking care of every detail and need in your children’s lives to keeping everything together at work as a working mother, things can get pretty taxing, especially in terms of finance. As a single mother, planning your finance is crucial, not for yourself, but also for your little ones.

Of course, you may think that money is not everything. However, lack of planning with your finances can ultimately cause more problems for you in the long run, like stress, anxiety and actual monetary problems. These would bog you down and prevent you from being the best version of yourself, not only in the workplace and in society but also to your kids. So, here are some financial tips that you can use as a single mom, to keep all the money in check.

#1 Organize Your Payments & Debts

If you have loans, credit cards and of course, bills, you will need to organize all these payments in a way that each payment does not overlap with each other, and cause a hole in your pocket for a particular month. The best thing to do is to list down all these payments into a notebook, write down the amount that is due and also the date that you need to pay them by.

#2 Find More Income

As a single parent, it can feel like money is flowing out faster than you can say “Stop!”. Consider taking up a second job or doing some freelancing from home, as a side income to help supplement any additional spending you might have, especially for the kids. Go back to school and get that professional degree. With some extra effort and babysitting help, you’ll be able to get a raise and that would help tremendously with your finances as a single mom.

#3 Budget Everything

From loan payments to groceries, right up to tidbits, budget them all. And, budget like your life depended on it, because it does. Having strict control over where the scarce amount of money you have at hand goes can help you manage your income and spending fairly effectively. Try to avoid spending on things you don’t need and go for cheaper options, where you can.

#4 Have Some Savings

You may think that, with the spending that you have to do and whatever menial income you earn, that saving seems like an impossible feat. It actually is not. Lots of single moms believe in this myth, when the truth is, even putting away about $5 away, every single day, without fail can help you whenever you urgently need the cash. So, start saving those dollar bills now!

#5 Check Your Finances Weekly

Schedule to check-in on your finances every week. This is when you review what needs to paid, what are due in the coming week, your current balance and any new payments that you need to add into your new system. This way, you can make sure that you don’t miss out on anything and you keep your payments and income in check to make sure that everything runs like clockwork.

Handling finances alone as a single mom can be difficult and even terrifying, at times. However, with these few simple tips, you can be sure to always have control of your financial rein and manage your expenses wisely, without having to worry about overspending or failing to pay of any repayments you may have.