Smart Financial Tips for College Students

The class “Personal Finance for Young Adults” usually isn’t part of a high school curriculum – an unfortunate oversight that leaves many young people clueless about how to manage their money, apply for credit, and stay out of debt. Now that you’re in college, it’s likely that you’re in charge of your financial affairs more so than when you lived at home and mainly functioned in the realm of your parents’ economic universe. Indeed, you have more freedom to decide where and how to spend money.

College Students

But with that freedom comes the responsibility to spend money wisely. That’s what it’s like when you’re on your own – you get to decide. And you also get to experience the consequences of your choices, both good and bad. Soaring tuition costs coupled with financial unpreparedness spell a recipe for financial setbacks. Accordingly, it is crucial to understand basic financial tips for students and other core lessons about money.

9 Practical Financial Literacy Tips for College Students

While you may be forgiven for being nose-deep in your books, it’s time to reflect on how you manage your money. Do you have a budget? Or are you spending it on the go? Remember that the younger you are, the more time your savings and investments will grow – the sooner you start, the better. Here are some practical, real-world financial tips for college students you can take advantage of to reinforce your saving and spending habits.

Create A Budget

Carefree high school students frequently spend whatever is in their bank account, living off their parents’ generosity or the spoils of a part-time job. Once that student moves to college, a budget becomes indispensable. Making a monthly or semester budget is the first step toward staying on top of your finances. Budgeting gives you a big-picture view of your money, so you can make informed spending and saving decisions. Start by identifying your income for the semester or year, including paychecks if you have a job, loans, grants, and family contributions. Accounting for your inflows gives you an idea of how much to spend each month. Thereafter, plan for essential needs like transport and food. In whatever is left, you can save a fixed percentage and spend on other expenses like trips or simple pleasures. Remember to stick to your budget because straying from your financial blueprint defeats its purpose and risks pushing you into debt.

Practice Self-control

One simple but effective financial tip for college students is always paying with cash, not credit. You’re lucky if your parents taught you self-control. If not, understand that the sooner you learn the essential life skill of delaying gratification, the sooner you’ll keep your personal finances in order and as a habit. Put your money for everyday purchases on a debit card instead of a credit card. A debit card attracts no additional fees when making transactions, unlike a credit card with a high-interest charge. Use credit cards only for emergencies.

Track Your Spending

Write down every purchase you make or use a budget app. Create a routine that includes a regular accounting of your finances. Simply tracking what you spend can help you notice patterns and understand where your money is going. It also enables you to identify if you need to make a change. This financial self-knowledge will make your life calmer and allow you to focus on more important matters like your grades.

Exploit Student Discounts

College students should become masters in exploring ways their educational status can save them money. Restaurants, local venues, vendors, and services near college campuses often offer student discounts that can save you big money. What’s more, you should learn the value of hunting down great deals by looking for bargains. Being discount-obsessed is also an excellent financial tip for high school students since many companies offer discounts in the form of student memberships.

Use Cheap Essay Writing Services

It’s essential to make time for fun and relaxation even as you juggle academic work, family obligations, and social life. Sometimes students feel zapped from energy because they have too much on their plate and end up buying expensive college essays online. Luckily, you can use cheap but reliable and trustable professional essay writing help without breaking the bank. Custom Writings is a college paper writing service that offers affordable academic writing help from scratch for students in the USA and worldwide. Their writers deliver subject-savvy, content-rich custom college essays and research papers that help students fulfill their educational goals without blowing holes in their budgets. More free time, better grades, and financial wellness are three key benefits you get from using their services.

Set Financial Limits

Imposing financial limits for necessary items is another way to curb impulse buying. Setting a spending limit doesn’t necessarily prevent you from making impulse purchases but helps you pause and assess whether the new iPhone is necessary. By setting a relatively low limit, say $100 per month, you get a wiggle room without having carte blanche when it comes to spending power. Add the non-essential money into your student’s proposed budget, separate from basic expenditures on food and gas.

Avoid Full-price Textbooks

Ah, the textbook – the budget breaker for college students everywhere. While it’s true that some professors change and update texts practically every year, the vast majority use the same textbooks each academic year. Students shouldn’t have to shell out hundreds to shop for books before class. As a student, you can exploit many ways to save money on college textbooks, such as shopping for second-hand books from Amazon. You can also rent a book online or borrow local libraries. This financial wellness tip helps you recoup some of the cash spent on buying books.

Get A Job

Of course, college should be fun. The freedom of being on your own is something to be savored, and the social aspects of college are nearly as vital as classes. But if you can, adding a part-time job to the equation can significantly boost your income. Many college jobs have flexible schedules built to accommodate students. So, find a job that fits your workload without spreading yourself too thin. That extra cash can make a huge difference in managing a budget.

Collaborate with Roommates

Having roommates in college is pretty much a necessity. So, if you’re doing college solo, you have set yourself up for a much more expensive ride. Undoubtedly, living with roommates can be a challenge, but saving on housing can make it worthwhile. It’s crucial to go beyond having roommates to cut down on housing costs.

The Bottom Line

Your financial decisions during college have a lifelong impact, which is why it’s important to have financial literacy. You don’t need an MBA in Finance or even specialized training to become an expert at managing your personal finances. Following these basic financial tips for students can lead you to financial security, which forms the cradle for building the rest of your dreams. Remember, these ideas are not just for college students but also practical financial tips for high school students.

Six Essential Habits to adopt for a Brighter Financial Future

Your financial future depends entirely on several habits that may not seem to have anything to do with money or finances. Getting the right information from online tools like Velocity trader reviews is one way but are there other ways? The answer is yes. The journey to financial freedom can be shorter and less arduous if you adapt these six habits.

finance-budgeting

  1. Remain Poised

Like many aspects of life, it is important to remain agile and poised through all aspects of financial situations, good or bad. Losing composure often leads people down a financial rabbit hole chasing high-profit, low-risk investment ghosts that leave them financially drained. Practice keeping a level head through tough times by learning and experimenting with low-cost situations.

  1. Consistency

No habit will significantly impact your life unless you consciously and consistently implement it. It takes about a month to get acclimated to a new habit and start enjoying yourself. The first few days are always the hardest. Encourage yourself to stick to new habits, make bad habits hard to physically achieve, and implement visual reminders to keep yourself on track. In time, your efforts will pay off by being reflected in your bank account.

  1. Use the Best Trading Tools

Trading tools are especially useful if you are looking to invest, which is a crucial habit to initiate in search of a brighter financial future. Tools like Velocity trader reviews give you an upper hand in making crucial financial decisions. Numerous financial tracking tools on the internet help you make the right financial decision for future gain. Make use of these free tools and any other that may require regular subscription fees but add actual value to your life.

  1. Knowledge is Power

If you are determined to make a true difference in your financial journey, you will take measures to increase your knowledge base about money. It is common knowledge that schools do not teach us about money management, so it is important to enlighten yourself using free data littered across the internet. So instead of spending your lunch break scrolling through a social media app, grab a pen and paper and get learning.

  1. Plan for Everything

Monthly or annual budgets and goals will save you a lot of financial chaos and turmoil. Making shopping lists is also a great way to plan for each aspect of your spending. The key to planning is using measurable and timed goals to create plans, so everything falls perfectly in place when the time comes. Planning may also involve identifying areas where the opportunity to save arises.

  1. Discipline

Setting financial goals and making budgets are useless if you have difficulty sticking to the plan. Discipline is a habit that will put you in the top 5% of any crowd. Most people find it difficult to stay disciplined because of external forces, so it is important to forge your focus skills. Always keep your focus fixed on what needs to get done at the moment. One small at a time is the way to go.

The Takeaway

Your financial freedom is entirely in your hands, affecting you and your future generations. Don’t get left behind; take matters into your hands, start practicing these habits, and give yourself a financial leg up.

Pay Off My Mortgage or Invest? Consider These Things Before You Decide

More and more mortgage loans are getting approved by the Bank of England every year. In April 2021, 86,921 of them got approved which was an 81% increase year-over-year. 

Do you have a mortgage as well? Are you almost finished paying it off or did you remortgage it and are now deeper in debt than ever? 

A mortgage is good debt, but does that mean that you should hold off on paying off your mortgage and invest instead? This is an age-old debate in financial circles and among homeowners – ‘pay off my mortgage or invest?’  

Each individual will be different in which course they should choose. Keep reading for some factors that can help you decide. 

Pay Off Your Mortgage Quicker

If you are the kind of person who stays up at night worrying about your mortgage and the debt that you are under, then your best course of action is to pay off your mortgage quicker. There’s no need to become an anxious wreck or deteriorate your mental and physical health because you are constantly worrying about your mortgage.

Also, consider that inflation is causing interest rates to rise rapidly. If that’s a concern of yours, then paying off your mortgage early is a good way to boost your finances. 

Pros

There are many pros to paying off your mortgage quicker:

  • You become debt-free and that frees you up in a way
  • You don’t have to pay exorbitant amounts for interest payments
  • Once you pay down your mortgage you are free to use that additional income as you wish

Don’t make the mistake though of paying down your mortgage, only to use that leverage to buy some other big-ticket items, like a car or a world cruise. 

Cons

Some cons to consider when paying off your mortgage sooner:

  • There are prepayment penalties to paying off your mortgage sooner
  • You are going to miss out on all tax deductions and advantages of having a mortgage

If your mortgage is your only investment, then you are in big trouble. That’s because you are missing out on all the other potential investments you could undertake. 

Putting Your Money Into Investments

Some folks are firmly entrenched in the ‘save for retirement first‘ camp. The main reason for this? The power and magic of compound interest over time.

Pros

If you start investing when you are in your 20s, you have to invest less money over your lifetime, than someone who pays off their mortgage first and then starts investing in their 40s or 50s. 

Let’s look at the numbers. If you start saving in your 20s and invest $100 every month for 40 years, you would end up with a neat $1.17 million after.

A friend of yours who waits until their 50s to start investing, even if they invest $1000 a month for 10 years, would only have $230,000. This assumes a 12% compound rate on your investments.

But, the conclusion is quite clear. Waiting to invest can rob you of all that precious compound interest and growth time. You would have to invest more money each month if you start later and you won’t even end up with that much more despite the additional investment. 

Another big pro to investing your money starting now, rather than waiting until you pay off your mortgage is that you can take advantage of any employee matching programs that your job might offer. This is essentially free money that you can pour into your investments at no disadvantage to you. 

Cons

Not to say that there are no cons to this way of doing things. No matter if you are putting money into investments each month, your debt is still looming large over your head. 

Your mortgage is there in the background, constantly reminding you that you are in debt and your assets aren’t liquid. You can’t stop making mortgage payments, and that can put a dire strain on your finances as you try to juggle both investments and mortgage payments while trying to live a reasonable quality of life.

Some folks live an extremely frugal life because they don’t have enough income to balance both mortgage and investments at the same time. But if that’s not something that appeals to you, then this option might not be up your alley. 

Doing Both in Moderation

When you can’t figure out if one way or another works for you, then the middle way seems like the best option. Instead of pouring all your disposable income into paying off your mortgage or investing, how about you put a moderate amount into both?

This way you don’t have to sacrifice your current lifestyle for your future self. You can still enjoy an occasional meal out and a bit of travel each year. And you can splurge on big-ticket items when the need arises. 

You can make decent progress towards both goals by tamping down on your impatience and taking it slow and steady. You might not pay down your mortgage in 15 years or you might not make millions from your investment, but at least you will be able to live a balanced lifestyle while taking care of your financial future. 

Everyone reading this article is working with a different life situation. We can’t tell you which option is best for you. You would have to decide that for yourself, but the information above should make your decision easier. 

Question: Pay Off My Mortgage or Invest?

This question might seem simple, ‘pay off my mortgage or invest,’ but the answer is quite complicated indeed. Take your time and use all the information presented above to make the best judgment for yourself. 

There isn’t a ‘wrong’ answer to this question. It’s just what you are comfortable with and what risk and debt level you can handle. If you would like to read more articles on retirement to build up your knowledge base, keep browsing through our blog.

Metlife Investment Management to Acquire Specialist ESG Impact Manager Affirmative Investment Managment

Affirmative Investment Management (AIM) announced today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by MetLife Investment Management.

(MIM), the asset management business of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET). The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval.

MIM is a global public fixed income, private capital and real estate investment manager that provides tailored investment solutions to public and private pension plans, insurance companies, endowments funds and other institutional clients. MIM has over 150 years of investment experience, with offices in the US, Europe, Latin America and Asia comprising over 900 investment professionals and US$590.9 billion in assets under management, at 30 June 2022.
AIM focuses on mobilising mainstream capital to address the major challenges the world faces. Its mission is to manage fixed income portfolios that generate positive environmental and social impact without compromising financial returns. As the ESG impact and transition bond markets continue to expand, the opportunity to offer investment solutions to meet client demand has broadened from impact into transition, and public into private debt and real estate finance. MIM provides AIM with additional depth and breadth of complementary investment capabilities and resources that allows us to build upon our industry leadership and expand our impact and transition investment solutions in the future.

MIM will integrate AIM’s investing experts, processes and research capabilities to drive excellence in sustainable investing, develop new investment solutions and enhance MIM’s fundamental research, underwriting and security selection processes.

“We are pleased to be able to join a world-class institutional investment firm in MIM and continue our mission to deliver mainstream financial returns along with positive environmental and social impact” said Stephen Fitzgerald, who co-founded AIM in 2014. “Upon integration with MIM’s investment teams, we believe that we will deliver differentiated impact and transition investment insights and solutions to our combined roster of global clients while continuing to support positive environmental and social change.”

“By combining AIM’s expertise with MIM’s longstanding commitment to sustainable investing, we will be even better positioned to provide more comprehensive insight and counsel to clients and consultants on the changing market dynamics related to ESG and impact considerations,” said Steven Goulart, president of MIM and executive vice president and chief investment officer for MetLife. “MIM will maintain its fundamental investment processes, while AIM brings us additional capabilities to go deeper for clients on evaluating sustainability and risk considerations across all of our core competencies in public fixed income, private fixed income and real estate.”

AIM remains committed to its existing clients in Australia, Europe, Japan and US to deliver mainstream bond market returns along with environmental and social impact. As part of MIM, AIM will continue in its ambition to deliver best in class ESG impact and transition investment solutions to existing and prospective clients.

About Affirmative Investment Management

Affirmative Investment Management (AIM) is a leading global environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) impact fixed income investment manager with deep capabilities in impact investing, verification, reporting and engagement. Established in 2014, AIM focuses on mobilising mainstream capital to address the major challenges the world faces. Its mission is to manage fixed income portfolios that generate positive environmental and social impact without compromising financial returns. AIM’s highly experienced team is solely focused on investing in, and expanding, the impact bond market with a rigorous approach to building impact bond portfolios and generating returns.

AIM has won numerous ESG and impact related industry awards, most recently Best Sustainability Reporting by a Fund Manager at the 2022 Environmental Finance Sustainable Investment Awards, Best ESG Investment Fund: Fixed Income at the 2022 ESG Investing Awards, Impact Asset Manager of the Year at the 2021 Australian Impact Investment Awards, and Impact Report of the Year (for investors) at the 2021 Environmental Finance Bond Awards.
About MetLife Investment Management.

MetLife Investment Management, the institutional asset management business of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), is a global public fixed income, private capital, and real estate investment manager providing tailored investment solutions to institutional investors worldwide. MetLife Investment Management provides public and private pension plans, insurance companies, endowments, funds and other institutional clients with a range of bespoke investment and financing solutions that seek to meet a range of long-term investment objectives and risk-adjusted returns over time. MetLife Investment Management has over 150 years of investment experience and, as of June 30, 2022, had US$590.9 billion in total assets under management.
About MetLife.

MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates (“MetLife”), is one of the world’s leading financial services companies, providing insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management to help individual and institutional customers build a more confident future. Founded in 1868, MetLife has operations in more than 40 markets globally and holds leading positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

For more information, visit www.metlife.com.

Tips for Americans Buying Parisian Apartments

Being one of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide, France can easily win your heart over. If you’re reading this page, you belong to many foreigners who decided to invest in a vacation home or settle in France for longer after a visit.  Statistically speaking, Americans belong to 3% of the foreign real estate buyers in the country of pastries, wine, and cheese, with the most popular location as French Alps, Paris, and Cote D’Azur. Yet Americans face many challenges when searching for real estate in Paris. Here are six main tips for you not to make common mistakes and survive in one of the most competitive markets in the world.

Paris

  1. Figure out the legal part of the equation.

The first thing you should do –  is research if your dream of owning a home in Paris is doable. Note that it’s a complicated process for Americans to get approved for a French mortgage, and the last thing you want to do is deal with the world-famous French bureaucracy. So before you send the “France houses for sale” request to Google, ensure your finances are all straight.

Visa-wise, Americans can stay in France as tourists for up to 90 days without a visa. If you’re planning to work, study, or stay in the country for a long time, you should obtain a long-term visa or a residence permit. Information on the visa requirements you can find on the France-Visas official website.

Another moment to remember is if you were hoping to rent your Parisian apartment whenever you’re back in the US, it wouldn’t be possible. Under newly-introduced French law, you can rent your property up to 120 dates per year only if it’s your first place of residence. Accordingly, the short-term or long-term rental is possible for the second home minimum of a year.

  1. Choose the best-suited neighborhood.

In a large metropolitan city like Paris, the location is crucial. When you come for a vacation, you want to feel safe yet close enough to major activities, shopping areas, and restaurants. Each Parisien’s arrondissement has a vibrant info structure, cozy cafes, and pastry shops with fresh croissants. Just put on your comfiest shoes and walk around each arrondissement to see how the atmosphere and ambiance change day to night. Avoiding touristic areas will help you save some dollars and immerse you in the true Parisien lifestyle. As the apartment prices vary depending on the location, being more expensive doesn’t always mean a better deal. You will never go wrong with apartments in the top-rated neighborhoods, as even during the crisis, those places sell for big money.

  1. Partner up with local and experienced real estate agents.

The best strategy for a successful buy is cooperating with a local agent. There is no such thing as a multi-listing in Paris, even though they have almost 4000 real estate agencies. Without multi-listing services, each agent has a limited database of housing they can provide you with. Take your time in choosing the realtor to hire. Consider their experience working in your budget frame and arrondissement you prefer,  the number of annual closing, and most importantly, their communication skills. Verify the agent has good English and won’t have trouble understanding your requests.

  1. Explain that you’re ready to pay the market price.

This tip might seem controversial at first. However, this is how you get most of the listings. Many buyers want to have a bargain and avoid paying for the overpriced property. Yet the agents won’t even bother sending you the links for showings if they see your “unrealistic” budget. With such a competitive market, your goal is to be taken seriously and get as many showings as possible. After seeing the place, you can still negotiate the price or expand the budget if you fall in love with the listing.

  1. Prioritize your requirements.

Be realistic while setting your must-haves. Paris is famous for its impeccable architecture, yet it’s a different house-planning from the US. The bathrooms are usually smaller, but it’s common to have a cute window there. It’s rare to find a spacious kitchen with an island or even an elevator in the building. So put your American standards aside and make your requirements list based on non-negotiable needs:

  • a place for a washing machine and dryer;
  • amount of rooms for all family members;
  • location;
  • easy access to higher floors with elevator;
  • a view (it’s common for Parisian windows to face the wall, and no one wants to see that on their vacation).

For those who are not ready to sacrifice their comfort and would still want a spacious place to live, there are many listings in Ile-de-France. The outskirts of Paris are full of historical or modern houses, with big backyards and enough space to fit a big family. The little old towns with cozy atmospheres and local produce are only 20-30 min away by train or a car ride from the city center of Paris.

  1. Remember the remodeling cost.

There is no benefit in buying a cheaper apartment to save up on location when the remodeling cost stays the same. In the long run, you’ll be paying more for repair work, redecorating, and labor, especially if you don’t have an elevator with six floors up. At the same time, a place that is a bit out of budget yet in the perfect state will require investment only in interior design.

The bottom line

Paris is a City of Love, and impossible not to fall in love with it! When apartment shopping in Paris, keep your mind open to get the best deal out there.  The French vacation home is an achievable goal requiring a bit more work and flexibility. Yet, following all the tips and cooperating with the right agent will guarantee you to find a second home in the heart of France in no time.

Understanding the Pros and Cons of Investing in Bonds

In 2020 the global bond market reached an outstanding value of $128.3 trillion. There are many assets that people can invest in, and bonds are one of the most popular choices. They provide a way for you to use your money to generate more income, but they do come with some potential disadvantages. For a rundown of what bonds are, how to invest, and the pros and cons of bonds, keep reading.

What Are Bonds?

Bonds are a financial asset, but rather than having ownership, they represent a loan from you to the bond issuer. When you buy one, you’re loaning money to the government or another institution. They’ll then pay you interest for a fixed period.

The money you’ve loaned out is known as the face value, or principal, and the interest payments you receive are known as coupons. At the end of the agreed period, the institution will pay you back the principal in full.

Investing in Bonds

The main reason people invest in bonds is to make profits, and there are two ways you can do this. The first method is to buy a bond and hold it while collecting interest payments. Once the agreed period is up and you receive the principal back, your total profits will be equal to all the interest you were paid.

For example, if you buy a 10-year bond for $10,000 with 3% interest, you’ll be paid 3% each year through 2 instalments (every 6 months). This interest compounds, so while the first year would be $300, the second would be slightly higher, and so on. After 10 years, you get the initial $10,000 back.

The second method of investing is to buy a bond and then sell it for a higher price than you paid. This is dependent on the market value. If you were to buy the same bond as above, for example, and then sell it once the market value increases, you could make a profit on it.

The value of a bond can rise if the institution’s credit risk profile improves. This is because it means they’ll have a better chance of repaying the bond at maturity. The value can also go up if the prevailing interest rates go down.

Types of Bonds

Before you do any bond investing, you should know about the different types available. Each type has different advantages and disadvantages.

Corporate Bonds

These are issues by companies rather than governments. This means they have a higher chance of defaulting, but they also generally pay more interest.

Municipal Bonds

Also known as “muni bonds”, these are issued by local government entities like states and cities. The purpose of these is to fund public projects or services such as parks or bridges.

Treasury Bonds

These are also called T-bonds and are issued by the US Government. These tend to offer quite low-interest rates, but also have very little risk of defaulting.

The Pros and Cons of Bonds

Other than bonds there are various types of assets you can invest in. When thinking about investing in bonds you should weigh up the different advantages and disadvantages associated with them.

Pros

One of the main advantages of bonds is that they provide safety as an investment. The income is generally more predictable than other investment opportunities, meaning you have a better idea of the kind of profits you’ll make. They are also less volatile than other assets, so it’s unlikely the value of a bond will suddenly drop.

The income from bonds is not just predictable in terms of the amount you’ll make, but also its regularity. Interest payments are paid twice a year so you can handle your finances accordingly. If you decide to sell for a profit, you can do this whenever you choose.

If you purchase a muni bond, the money you invest will be going towards something to help your local community. This could be a school, hospital, public garden, or more.

If you’re already an investor, you probably know that it’s good to have a diverse portfolio. Having a mix of stocks, bonds, and other assets can reduce your financial risk and increase your potential to make profits.

Cons

While they are one of the more secure investment options available, there are some potential downsides to investing in bonds. One of the most obvious is that the money you invest will be locked away for long periods, and you won’t be able to access it without selling your bonds.

When buying bonds you’re making a long-term commitment, and the issuer may change their interest rates while you’re still holding. If you invest at an interest rate of 3%, then the issuer increases their rate to 4%, and the value of your bond will go down. You won’t be able to take advantage of the new interest rate unless you invest again.

One of the main risks of bonds is the possibility of the issuer defaulting. This is uncommon, but if it does happen you could lose your principal, your interest payments, or even both.

Compared to the stock market, the bond market is lacking in transparency. This means that brokers may sometimes charge higher prices than they should. It can be harder to determine if the price of a bond is accurate for its value, so you might end up overpaying.

Bonds remain one of the safest investments, but along with this, it means that you’ll usually get smaller returns. When it comes to investing it’s often the case that higher risk means a higher reward.

Should You Invest in Bonds?

Before investing it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of bonds. They’re generally secure and reliable, and can even help out your local community. Just remember that you may not make the best returns, and there’s always a possibility of losing your investment.

If you want to start investing, it’s crucial that you know the market and understands what you’re doing. At CFI.co we provide updates and information on all things finance, business, and economics. Click here to sign up for our newsletter or contact us with any questions today.

Should I Hire a Personal Accountant?

Did you know that most people don’t know you can deduct home expenses if you work from home?

Managing your finances can get complicated. Even if you don’t have your own business, hiring a personal accountant can help you with many wealth management services. This includes choosing the right banking options and even filing taxes on your behalf.

Having a professional handle your finances comes with quite a few benefits. This is why it’s important to take a closer look at how partnering with one can help you.

Are you thinking of hiring a personal accountant to help with your personal or business finances? You’ve found the right blog. Here’s everything you need to know about personal accountants. 

What Is a Personal Accountant?

A personal accountant is an experienced financial professional that helps individuals and businesses with their finances. This includes managing your personal finances, planning your investment portfolio, and filing taxes on your behalf.

These professionals are qualified professionals with tertiary degrees in business, accounting, finance, or investment banking. Some accountants are even more skilled, holding personal certifications to be either a Certified Personal Accountant (CPA) or a Chartered Accountant (CA).

What Does a Personal Accountant Do?

Personal accountants can offer a wide range of services to both individuals and businesses. Here’s a quick breakdown of the most popular services they offer.

Tax Returns

Personal accountants can help go through your finances to submit your tax returns for you. This can help you avoid mistakes when filing taxes while also helping you maximise your possible returns every year.

Wealth Management

Personal accountants can help you manage your finances for longevity. This means that they will be able to structure your savings and investment on your behalf. This is perfect if you would like to set up investments intended for future generations.

Bookkeeping Services

If you have a business, personal accountants can also help keep a record of your finances for you. This can come in handy as they will be able to keep an accurate record of all major transactions to keep things simple and compliant if you ever need to go through an audit.

Benefits of Personal Accountants

Hiring a personal accountant can help you manage your finances and even save you money on your taxes. Thinking about hiring one? Here are some of the most notable benefits of hiring a personal accountant.

Save Time

Having a personal accountant handle your finances can save you a lot of time. From looking through financial records to figuring out complicated tax forms, accountants can take that burden off your shoulders. If you run your own business, this saved time can help you keep your focus on the business.

Prevent Tax Penalties

If you don’t pay the right taxes or file your taxes at the wrong time, there could be possible penalties and fines that you would have to pay. Having a personal accountant handle your taxes for you can make sure that everything is done on time, ensuring that you won’t be penalised.

These penalties may not be expensive at first, but they can look bad on your record and can end up getting bigger as time goes by. That’s why it can be worth it to hire a professional to take care of your taxes for you.

Maximise Your Tax Returns

When it comes to filing your taxes, accountants are aware of all the possible deductions that you can use to reduce your tax liability. While many may not be aware of it, these experienced professionals know the tax code so well that they can help restructure your finances to maximise your tax return every year.

Manage Your Finances

Personal accountants can help manage your finances for you. While this can save you time, this can also give you peace of mind as you would know that your savings accounts and investments are well taken care of.

Experienced Guidance

Personal accountants are skilled, educated, and experienced. Most certified accountants have a degree in finance, making them an authority on the subject of financial management and tax. By having a professional handle your finances, you can leverage their knowledge to help manage your finances and file your taxes for you.

This allows you to get expert assistance without having to employ a financial professional on a full-time basis.   

How To Find the Right Personal Accountant

Finding the right personal accountant is important as not all offer the same services. This is why you should always make sure that the accountant you choose offers the services that you need. If you’re not sure, you can always meet with them beforehand for a preliminary evaluation.

This is where the accountant will go through your finances with you to evaluate how they can help you. If there are things you or your business can do to be more efficient, they will highlight them for you and let you know how they can help you over the long term.

Get Professional Help From a Personal Accountant

Personal accountants can help with all kinds of wealth management services. This includes giving you the right financial advice but also includes calculating and filing your taxes on your behalf. While you may think you can do your taxes yourself, hiring a professional can help you get the most out of every tax return.

Are you looking for more helpful wealth management tips? Feel free to visit our website and browse some of our other interesting articles.

AAY Investments Group named Best International Project Finance Team

International investment firm joins Pictet Bank, Deloitte and UBS as winners of the CFI.co award

AAY Investments Group, a Panama-based Venture Capital Funding firm, was named Best International Project Finance Team by CFI.co. AAY joins Pictet Bank, Deloitte and UBS as winners of the prestigious award.

AAY Investments Group

“AAY Investments Group is honored to have been nominated and named the winner of the Best International Project Finance Team in 2022,” Senior Managing Partner of AAY Investments Group Mark Manson said. “This distinguished award is the culmination of hard work and dedication to providing excellent service to our clients globally. It is with great pleasure that I accept this award on behalf of the entire AAY Investments Group team and it is our intention to continue successfully financing projects around the world.”

Each year, CFI.co seeks nominations for individuals and organizations that contribute significantly to the convergence of economies and truly add value for all stakeholders. CFI.co aims to not only reward excellence in the financial field, but also use the award winners to inspire other companies and individuals to further improve their own performance.

In CFI.co’s Judges’ Report, CFI outlined AAY’s long standing reputation. The company’s success stems from the long-term relationships they have established with their clients along with the high quality of employees they have on their 45-person staff. The panel noted that managers not only assess how actions affect the client, but also their employees throughout the decision-making process, resulting in low staff turnover and high customer retention. These practices have allowed AAY to develop business relationships with insurance brokers, governments, public-listed companies, professional service providers and private-project owners.

AAY Investments group started in 1986 and has been able to adapt and change throughout waves of economic trends. The group is made up of Templeton Equity, Swiss Credit & Guaranty, Swiss Credit Underwriters, Swiss Credit Equities and an additional six AAY affiliated partner companies. Throughout their time in business, the company has worked with numerous national and international brokers, attorneys, banks, financial institutions, insurance companies and many large and small project owners throughout the world, providing venture capital funding. These investments have given life to projects that create wealth for owners and also provide secure jobs for employees working in many countries.

AAY’s senior management team has over 95 years of combined professional experience in commercial project finance and venture capital funding. The company recently added an insurance team focusing on risk-management. The company continues to grow based on their reputation as a confidential and professional group, believing that confidentiality and non-disclosure is essential for business today.

For more information on AAY Investments Group, visit aayinvestmentsgroup.com

About AAY Investments Group

AAY Investments Group is comprised of Templeton Equity, Swiss Credit & Guaranty, Swiss Credit Underwriters, Swiss Credit Equities and an additional six AAY affiliated partner companies. Their senior management team have over 95 years of combined professional experience in commercial project finance and venture capital funding with backgrounds in legal to investment banking, all with vast knowledge within financial institutions. For more information, visit aayinvestmentsgroup.com.

Contemporary Cash Flow Handling Trends and Tips

Cash flow management is necessary for startups and small businesses because it is the foundation of a business’s ability to operate. It’s managing cash resources to ensure that cash is always available for business operations.

cashflow

We will explore why cash flow management matters, and how startups can make it easier to manage their cash flows.

What Are the Key Factors that Impact Your Cash Flow?

The key factors that impact your cash flow are the management team, venture capital investors, and revenue projections.

In growing your business, you need to ensure you have a strong management team. Your team should provide a clear vision for the company and be able to execute it. They should also have experience managing and running a business, helping them manage finances more efficiently.

Revenue projections are also important, as they can help you plan what you need for growth. It can also help you decide whether you should take on additional investment from venture capitalists.

Creating a Cash Flow Plan that Works for Your Business

Cash flow is a term that most businesses know but few understand. It’s turning revenue into cash, and then back into assets or investments. To create a successful cash flow plan for your business, you need to fully understand your expenses and how much money is required to succeed.

A cash flow plan helps track your money and identify growth opportunities. The first step is to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of your approach so far. What has been successful and what hasn’t? This will help you map out the next steps in your process.

Here are a few steps to creating a cash flow plan:

  • Establish your business objectives. What are you trying to accomplish? Review the company’s goals and identify the milestones.
  • Plan for growth: How will you get more clients or customers and increase revenue?
  • Evaluate your momentum: How can you keep the momentum going and build on it?
  • Plan for sustainability: How do you plan to continually expand what you’re doing?
  • Create your budget: Break down expenses into categories. Create a budget based on projected cash inflows and outflows.
  • Consider contingencies: What will happen in an emergency or if revenues don’t meet projections? What steps will you take to stay in business and get results?

Finance Tips to Enhance the Growth of Your Business

Having a financial strategy in place is critical, especially when you start with low capital. You need to be aware of your financial goals and how you can get there.

To start, understand the difference between your fixed and variable costs. Fixed costs don’t change, whereas variable costs fluctuate based on revenue. A business should carefully analyze its fixed and variable costs before deciding on which type of financing it needs if any.

There are different financing options available for businesses, such as invoice factoring, loans, venture capital investments, and equity investments. For small businesses with little capital, invoice factoring might be the best option for funding business growth.

  1. Consider crowdfunding. If you have a product in the pipeline and need funding, crowdfunding is a great way to raise capital, especially for startups that don’t yet have strong cash flow.
  2. Negotiate with suppliers. Suppliers may be open to more favorable payment terms. This will give you more time to pay without getting deep in debt.
  3. Don’t try to grow too fast. Additional employees are an important asset, but investment and return must be evaluated. Consider salaries, employee benefits, supplies such as computers, and desk space. Outsourcing might be a better choice.
  4. Explore invoice factoring. You can sell your outstanding accounts receivable to an invoice factoring company in exchange for cash. A factoring company is a quick way to get financing and free up working capital.
  5. Run a lean operation. Find ways to do more with what you already have. This can be challenging due to a lack of time and resources, but small changes can lead to big results.
  6. Use good tasking software. Task management software is a digital tool that helps organize, prioritize, and delegate your work and stay on track. Task management software is a must-have for any company focusing on productivity and saving money.
  7. Plan for and invest in growth. Identify areas for growth, and reinvest in the company to compete at a higher level for greater success down the line.

Conclusion

Cash flow management is vital to all businesses, particularly for start-ups on a tight budget. Approaches vary depending on the company’s needs, but planning is essential. Startups can generate money in several ways, including invoice factoring with a reputable factoring company, equity crowdfunding, and planning for growth. By effectively managing their cash flow, startups can generate more revenue and become more successful.

Creating a Budget for Beginners: The Ultimate Guide

Did you know that more than 63% of people in the United Kingdom are in debt? When it comes to finances, it can be hard to take control of your own money. It might sound easy in theory, but when it comes down to it, many people end up spending more than they should.

Fortunately, this isn’t an inevitable problem as long as you have a budget plan. But how should you go about creating a budget in the first place, especially if you’ve never tried doing it before? Keep reading and learn more about how to budget your money so you can leave your debt behind you.

Try the 50/30/20 Budget Plan

At some point, you may have heard of the 50/30/20 budget plan, but what is it exactly? It is actually one of the most efficient ways to budget your money and it involves splitting up your income into three sections. First, you will need to spend around 50% of your income on necessities.

Be sure to calculate this after you factor out your taxes. Your necessities, as the name suggests, should only include things that you can’t live without. So, your necessities would include your rent, car, and other things such as food.

The majority of your income will go to these things because they are the most important. When you create a budget like this, you won’t have to worry so much about having to pay for your necessities because they will be the first thing that you pay for in the first place. But what should you prioritize next after you’re done spending money on your necessities?

Next, you will want to divide around 30% of your income for your wants.

What You Need to Know

Your wants, as the name suggests, involve things that you want to enjoy and splurge on. For example, you can spend money on going to a movie, buying a nice new pair of shoes, or anything else that you might feel like doing.

Spending money on your wants, of course, is one of the more enjoyable parts of starting a budget. However, you will want to be careful not to go overboard with your wants. Many people enjoy spending money on fun things that they end up forgetting all about the 50/30/20 rule.

As long as you keep in mind that you should only spend 30% or less of your income on wants, you won’t have to worry about running out of money and ending up in debt. Finally, there is the 20% of your income that you will need to focus on debt repayment and savings.

This 20% is very important because it can help you dig yourself out of your financial hole so you can leave all of your debts behind you. It might seem difficult to do at first, especially if you have a mountain of debt, but as long as you’re persistent and follow the rest of the 50/30/20 financial budget, you will eventually reach your financial goals and be free of debt.

Keep a Close Eye on Your Money

The 50/30/20 budgeting plan will only be able to take you so far when it comes to saving money and getting out of debt. It won’t be able to help you plan out the details of your budget. Instead, you’ll have to do that for yourself.

The problem that many people have when it comes to budgeting is that they forget about the little details of their finances. Many people end up getting so distracted with large costs such as medical bills, rent, and other things that they end up forgetting about the smaller costs and making the mistake of thinking that they don’t matter.

However, you will find that small costs are just as important as large costs. This is because small, unaccounted costs can easily start to pile up if you’re not careful.

The Details

For example, suppose you buy a charger for your phone, some snacks for the car, and a few other small things.

All of these items are quite cheap on their own, so you might not even bother factoring them into your budget. However, after a few weeks or months of ignoring these small costs, you will start to wonder why you aren’t saving as much money as you were hoping. The reason will be that these small costs have been slowly siphoning your savings without you even realizing it.

This, of course, can put your budgeting plans quite far back. To avoid this, you will need to stay on top of everything you’re spending, even if you’re only spending very little. This can be tedious at first, especially when spending money on very small items, but eventually, it will become a sort of habit, and it will be like second nature to you.

Once you get the hang of keeping an eye on your money in this way, you will find that it will be easier than ever to save your money and stay dedicated to your budgeting plan. Once you accomplish that, it will be quite easy to leave your debt in the dust and start saving money.

What You Need to Know About Creating a Budget

Creating a budget can be hard at first, but it isn’t impossible. The 50/30/20 rule can be especially helpful for those who have never tried budgeting before. It involves splitting up your income into needs, wants, and savings.

That way, you won’t be confused about what to do with your money. More than that, keeping an eye on everything you’re spending can be very helpful. To learn more, contact us here.