Mortgage Your Home … Not Your Life!

laurakellyIf you are reading this, you are probably a first time home buyer AND you are likely an internet savvy, educated person who is willing to glean all the information that you can before proceeding forward. I applaud your inquisitiveness. Many first time home buyers do not make an effort to have at least a basic understanding about their new home mortgage.

Typically, in my experience, the first time home buyer is more interested in the prevailing interest rate than anything else. While this is an important ingredient within your mortgage, it is often not the most important. There are many things to consider. For instance, how much available cash do you have to put into your home buying project? Some companies boast about a 3.75% rate. That may sound like a really good deal. However, the fine print will reveal that you must pay multiple “points” in order to be eligible for that super rate. Those points typically equal 1% of the loan amount. Additionally, there may be several points that are needed to secure your loan. Many Kelowna mortgage broker companies will offer you a fixed interest mortgage with approximately a 1% increase over the discount company rate without any points to be paid.

Without question, my advice would be to search your local mortgage providers and find the best deal, Don’t simply shop the interest rates. Dig deeper and learn what the true cost of the loan will set you back at closing. Remember, the average homeowner will sell their home at the 5 to 7 year point. If you dump a lot of cash into your loan on the front end, it may be hard to recover that cash when it’s time to sell.

When in doubt, consult your local Realtor. They can guide you through the pre-qualification process. Once you understand the mortgage process and get pre-qualified with a reputable lender, then you are ready to find your dream home!

Canadian Money Problems

laurakellyOut of all the problems I have experienced, cash problems are by far the worst. Whether in your personal life or in your business, it is a horrible situation. It was rather surprising when I discovered that this problem is not inevitable. For a long time, I was under the impression that every once in a while, everyone must experience debt problems. This however is far from the truth. With accurate planning and organization, you can always enjoy a steady budget and good financial management.

The first step is to plan before you spend. Before going on a shopping spree of any kind, carefully draft what you plan to buy and how much you plan to spend. Impulse buying is the worst enemy to financial security, make sure you avoid it. You do not want to end up overspending money on things that will not benefit you in the long run. In addition to this, when creating a shopping list, train yourself to only write down the things that you need. I am not saying that luxuries should be avoided altogether. You can plan to spend on a luxury once or twice a month for instance. It all comes down to planning.

Secondly, borrow less and avoid bad debt. The more you borrow, the more you expose yourself to the risk of going bankrupt or needing a debt consolidation service. When you are broke, go for other solutions before borrowing. Consider borrowing your last resort at ant given time. Also be careful who you lend your money. Lend only those friends or family members who are trustworthy, people you have lent money before. If it is a first timer, you might want to consider setting strict repayment terms. Ensure there is evidence of the transaction to avoid bad debts. You can use this to take legal action against borrowers who default payment or pay back less than the amount that was agreed on.

Invest in SEO marketing projects that will be of long-term benefit to your online business income. Avoid ‘get rich quick’ schemes. Such investments deplete your savings while only giving back profit for such a short period. Most of them are usually unplanned for and so they divert you from your initial long-term investment plan. Be aware of con artists. Evaluate any investment plan that is brought to your attention, gather maximum information from reliable sources and from there you can make a decision.

Lastly, for every cash inflow, remember to set aside some amount for savings. Saving come in handy in times of emergencies. With these information, be sure that it is possible to combat cash problems.

Money Saving Tips for College Students

laurakellyWith the cost of college and university tuition’s that are at all- time highs and the dollar is just not going as far as it once did the pressure on students to succeed under immense financial pressure is greater than ever. This financial pressure does not end on graduation day either with the massive amounts of student debt that is hung like a yolk around the neck of the modern day student as he/she prepares to enter the workforce.

There are however, some ways to make the college or university experience a little less financial onerous while still being able to enjoy oneself during the consolidation process. You may little realize just how easy it is to blow through money on a college campus until you have experienced it for yourself. Grabbing a coffee or two per day while hanging out on the campus embroiled in a serious conversation about the recently watched elections debate may not seem like a big deal until you realize that those coffees are costing you $50 or more per week. Couple that with the Friday nights spent shrugging off the workload of essays and exams by grabbing a few pints with the boys will also help put a serious dent in the monthly finances as well.

You can however, find ways to make your limited amount of money go a little further without having to sacrifice those social engagements altogether. One great way to stretch the funds is to truly limit the amount of eating out you do when not involved in a social outing. There is a big difference between grabbing some wings when out on a Friday and eating out the other 6 days a week un-necessarily.

Make a food budget and stick to it religiously. It is much cheaper to purchase the necessities and make your own meals than to eat out. You can also share the load with like-minded students in your social circle by having community condiments and the like. Get a group together and shop for the ketchup, mustard and other bulk items that may spoil before a single person can consume them.

If you have spent the money to enroll in the campus meal plan then for heaven’s sake use it! Save the limited funds you have for the really important stuff. If you are going to indulge in alcoholic adventures periodically than remember it is a heck of a lot cheaper to grab a six pack and head to a friend’s dorm room than it is to grab 6 beers in the local campus pub.

For the more serious purchases, you can save a significant amount of money by seeking out and purchasing used text books for your courses whenever possible. Every little bit adds up. The object is to get the most out of the experience and enjoy the process as well. By paying attention to how you spend your money and avoiding at all cost incurring further debt you can achieve this and be a better and more prepared person on the other side.

Niche Marketing Tactics for Financial Advisors

Advisors who aim to grow their firms beyond organic referrals often find the traditional marketing techniques frustrating. Following are a few niche marketing techniques for financial advisors to help them define and reach their target audience.

Define Your Target Niche’s Profile

To start developing a functional marketing plan, you need to determine your target market first. This market can be female business owners, divorcees or dentists. Next, take some time to create a comprehensive profile of this audience. Not only will this assist you in your marketing efforts and strategic planning, but the process can also uncover significant hot buttons and various marketing opportunities. Make sure you consider the pressing financial concerns, reasons for changing advisors, questions about financial future, risk tolerance, substantial financial goals, specialized planning needs, location and personal passions. Other factors that can also be examined include gender, age range, employers and occupation, favorite websites and publications, memberships, interests and hobbies, events attended and forms of entertainment.

Come Up with a Targeted Message

More often than not, advisors define their target audience as “anybody with money”. The difficulty with a broad audience is that the message can become generic and watered down. A firm needs to find another way to articulate a persuasive proposition. Tailoring your message along with various other niche marketing strategies allows you to address the specific hot-button concerns facing your target market. Your message then becomes more compelling to those who fit that profile.

Gain a Deeper Awareness

It is naturally less expensive and time consuming to market to a smaller subset of the population. A niche strategy enables you to communicate your marketing message to the ideal prospects repetitively over an extended period because the audience is more targeted and smaller. The more often your niche audience hears about you in a meaningful way, the more recognition and awareness you generate about your brand.

Increase Your Credibility

When you concentrate on the specific planning and investment needs of your audience, you are identified as the go-to expert in that particular area of specialization. Over time, the word of mouth builds your reputation and status as a trusted resource or perhaps as THE trusted resource. One tactic that advisors can make use of is to build credibility as a subject specialist is to write a paper solving a technical problem faced by your target audience.