When It Comes to Spending, Procrastination Can be a Good Habit

Procrastination is usually a bad habit. Procrastinating at work can cost you your job. Procrastinating on exercise can leave you unfit. However, there is one time when putting something off can actually help: buying. If you want to buy something or want to spend money, get into the habit of procrastinating. Putting off spending cash nips impulse spending in the bud and saves you money. In many cases, you may find that the item you wanted or thought you needed isn’t so important after all – and you’ll have spent a bundle.

Here’s how it works: lets say you find something you really want to buy. Rather than snap it up and put it on your credit card, walk away. If you’re worried about the item being gone, have a sales person put it on hold for you. Take a walk around the block. For larger or more big-ticket items, give yourself at least a few days. Can you find the item for less elsewhere? Do you still think that you adore the item that much? A cooling down period often shows you what you really want and what you’re casual about and can live without.…

Tax Season Is Fast Approaching – Here’s How to Get Ready!

Tax season is just around the corner, and you want to be ready. Start by reviewing your current situation. Do you owe money on taxes? If so, now is the time to pay them off or start repaying them, before the new tax amounts are added in. If you have lots of payday loans with bad credit, credit card debt and other debt, consider paying these down as well, in case you owe money on this year’s taxes. Second, you will want to gather up your financial records. Ideally, you keep all your financial slips, receipts, and other documentation in one place. If not, you will need to hunt these pieces of paper down. Start now to ensure that you have everything you need for tax season.

Next, determine how you will pay taxes. If you don’t have an accountant but need one, start looking for one now – this is a busy time of year for most financial professionals, so you will need extra time to find the right professional. If you decide to file your own taxes, get the right paperwork or the right software to help you and get familiar with the process now. You don’t want to be doing your taxes at the last minute.

Should You Work Freelance?

Freelance work means that you work for yourself, not for a specific boss. You are free to work for whoever you wish. You set your own hours and do the sort of work you want to do. Many consultants, for example, work freelance. Many people dream of working freelance, but this type of work arrangement has its pros and cons:

Pro: You will have more freedom in your work as well as more control. You will be able to set your hours, determine your career path and decide on your hourly wage. You will have an easier time reaching financial goals, potentially, since you will set your hourly wage and will be able to choose your working hours.
Con: You will be wholly responsible for your career path. You will have to pay your own health insurance, pay into your own retirement fund, and do your own prospecting. Nothing will get done unless you do it. If you make mistakes, you will need to face them and rectify them as quickly as possible.
Pro: You may be able to charge higher per-hour fees than you garner in your current work.
Con: You may have a harder time getting personal loans or other types of credit.…

Advertise Your Way to Wealth

Advertising is a multi-billion dollar industry. However, advertisers are not the only ones who can make cash from advertising. College students put themselves through school by selling ads on their cars and clothing. Race car drivers and companies sell space on cars to advertisers. Revenues from these ads can generate a nice passive income. Some enterprising individuals are also using YouTube and other spaces online to offer advertising space.

It works very simply. First, you need to determine where you will sell advertising space. You can sell space on your t-shirts, on your blog, on your websites, or on your social networking pages. Next, you need to gather information about what would make your space attractive to advertisers. For example, if you want to sell advertising space on your car or clothing, are you out for a specific number of hours each day in specific situations where a specific demographic may see you? If you want to sell space on your blog, how many visitors do you get each day and each month? Can you gather demographic details about these visitors? This information will help advertisers make their decisions.

Next, you will need to decide how much you want to make with your advertising and how much to charge. You will then need to find advertisers. This is generally quite easy to do – you can advertise available space through your blog or online space or through the “business opportunities” section of your local newspaper.…

How to be creative and solvent

We discussed yesterday why the idea of the starving artist is cliché but many creative types – artists, writers, performance artists of all kinds – wonder how to make more money doing what they love. There are many ways to get solvent while staying creative:

1) Start seeing finances as part of your creative work. Get professional financial advice if you need it, but start seeing your money management as a big part of your career success. Make time for money and devote energy to it.

2) Use your right brain as well as your left brain. Be as creative as you like, but also use the logical part of your mind to manage your finances. This means keeping track of expenses and income, paying bills on time, and budgeting.

3) Be prepared for feast and famine. For many people in the arts, money tends to come in fits and spurts, especially at the start. A good run or a sudden grant can be followed by some lean times when few new opportunities present themselves. Having a very generous emergency fund and a financial plan is a must to maintain financial balance.…

Complaining makes you a better customer

No one likes a whiner, but complaining intelligently makes you a better customer – and makes you better with money. If a product or service does not live up to your expectations, you are essentially wasting your money on it. By complaining and getting a refund or replacement, you get your money’s worth. Getting what you pay for is a good way to avoid wasting money. Complaining also offers the company important feedback, which they can use to improve their services or products.

Generally, you will want to complain starting from the bottom up. This means that you begin with the sales associate, waiter, or person who served or sold you the offending product or service. If this does not get results, complain to a manager or the director of the company. Contact your local Better Business Bureau if this does not produce results. If you used a personal loan to pay off a defective product or service, keep in mind that you need to keep pursuing this, as you are paying interest as well as the asking price on the product. However, a personal loan does give you leverage. You can threaten default on the loan, in some cases, if the company does not follow through and offer you help. If you paid with a credit card, your credit card company may allow you to dispute the charges. This can be a very effective way to get your money back or to get a replacement.…

Organizing your finances can mean more money

Getting organized often means more money. If you don’t believe that, consider this: how often have you had to pay late fees or penalty fees because you forgot to pay a bill on time? The truth is, staying organized ensures that you pay everything on time, keep your credit score good and are able to capitalize on opportunities. Here’s how to stay organized in your financial life:

1) Have one place for all your financial “stuff.” You might choose to keep everything in a box, in envelopes, or in a filing system, but it’s important to have one place to store everything to do with your finances – including receipts and bills. Make sure your system allows you to keep paid bills, unpaid bills, tax information, banking statements, and investment stuff separate, so that you can always find what you need.

2) Use a planner or organizer to remind yourself of financial dates, just like appointments. If your credit card bill is due on the 20th, mark “pay credit card” on your calendar, where you will see it, a few days before the 20th.

3) Automate what you can. Consider having bills paid automatically through your banking system or credit card. This way, you never forget. Consider having savings automatically deducted from your paycheck. The less you have to do to keep organized, the easier it will be.

4) Do a thorough sweep of your finances at least every three months. Check your credit score, calculate how much you owe in personal loans, evaluate your dependence on payday loans, decide how well you are doing at budgeting, and generally set aside time to get in shape financially.…

If you haven’t filed taxes in a while, or owe the IRS money, it can be a scary thing

If you already have payday loans, personal loans and other debts to consider, an additional debt can be a terrible thing. The IRS forms and letters which arrive about your debt can be scary. Here’s what to do:

1) If you know you owe back taxes but have not filed yet, visit a qualified accountant, tax preparer or tax attorney today. Bring all your financial information. The sooner you file, the sooner you can start paying off your debt. The sooner you file, the more likely you are to avoid harassing letters and calls.

2) If you already have filed and you owe money, consider taking out a personal loan to pay off your debt. If your debt is small, compare the interest rate on your loan and the rate the IRS charges. It may be cheaper to borrow money than to pay the IRS in increments.

3) If you owe a lot of taxes or cannot afford what you owe, work with the IRS through a tax preparer to develop a repayment plan.…