Category Archives: Money

Forget the Last Minute Tax Return

Although there are some people who seem to always have their tax return data up to date and ready to be filed when the time comes round, many of us have a mad dash to find all the relevant pieces of paper and find ourselves surrounded by piles of receipts, bills, invoices and bank statements very near to the deadline date.

There seems to be something about filing a tax return that makes even the most level-headed people put it off until the last moment, which is why there are always stories of the online systems buckling under the weight of deadline day submissions and also so many people who needlessly subject themselves to late filing fines.

There have also been ongoing news stories over the past year concerning high profile public figures who have been outed as using various schemes to avoid paying tax. As long as you are acting within the law, most people want to make sure they are not paying more tax than they are legally obliged to, but the flipside is that many of us feel that going to great lengths to use complicated schemes specifically to avoid paying higher rate tax can be morally questionable.

Of course there is also a major distinction between the terms ‘avoiding’ and ‘evading’ tax, with the former being illegal and the latter, at most, morally objectionable. Whatever your stance on the matter, everybody would agree that it is plainly ridiculous to actually fall into the trap of having to pay a fine for the simple act of having filed your return past the deadline when there are easy and straightforward ways you can ensure you are always ready on time.

When it comes to tax liability it is often the case that any benefits gained in claiming our rightful allowance can often be swallowed up by accountancy fees, but without the help of specialists it is often difficult to navigate the various tax breaks available and to know how to best submit details.

The way that money can be saved is by cutting down on accountancy ‘man hours’ that are billed and this is easily done by providing your accountant with all the relevant details in a form in which they can work on straight away without having to trawl through everything to make it presentable.

Today there are some great online accounting services available from the likes of Sage One, which can save you money whilst also giving you greater control over your day-to-day bookkeeping. This process need not be daunting when you make use of simple-to-use software with easy-to-navigate unctionality.

The benefits of using online accounts packages are manifold and essentially mean that your accounting work is no longer tied to your office desktop computer. Indeed a laptop, tablet or smartphone can be used to access all your information 24/7 from wherever you happen to be, giving full flexibility and total control.

Avoid walking into the doom of bankruptcy

This is a guest post.

Choosing the right career is just as important as getting the basic education. Just as the basic education works in your favor, to help you go on with higher studies, the higher studies work as the pillars of success for your career. Now, in order to complete the higher studies and go on with a job, as per your career choice, you may have to shell out lots of dollars. This again can lead you to a level which can result in bankruptcy. For, the financial situation of most of the people as of now is in no way enough to manage all of the expenses along with the student loan payments. In fact, the job market has not yet turned around on a complete basis. On top of that, if you are required to file bankruptcy, just at the beginning, your career may get stalled. Yes, it is true that bankruptcy might not be the end of the road, but still it is better to avoid bankruptcy.

Choosing the right career

Choosing the right career can be a hard job, in itself. Moreover, the perspective of choosing a career is changing with the change in the economy. So, if you have not yet changed your notion, it would be wise of you to do so. For, the job market moves in sequence with the world, and the national economy. This means, even if you were interested in any particular career, and even if that career was good enough to bring in quite a lot of dollar, it would be better for you to think twice. This is because, the career which was once considered to be good, may not be able to bring enough money for you, under the present economic conditions.

Another thing which you may be required to consider is, the cost of choosing the career you like. This is a very important part, which is going to help you determine, if you will at all be able to achieve your dreams. For, you may not be able to afford to pay for the cost of the course which you may have to join, in order to be able to enter a particular career, which you are interested in.

Yes, it is true that there are various advertisements claiming that nothing should stop you from achieving your dream, and that, if you are thinking about the costs of getting higher education, there are various financing options. However, in this case too, you will have to consider various other factors. These are:

  1. Your expenses;
  2. Your credit rating; and
  3. Financing options

 

 

If you do not have good credit, you may not be able to find yourself eligible for most of the loans. In case of the federal loans too, there are certain eligibility criteria. Then, you will also be required to consider if you can at all afford to make the student loan payments – private or federal.

Money and the job market

Now, let us consider the situation of the job market. Though the economy has just started to look up, no one can deny that the job market is still looking bleak. In fact, there is also the looming shadow of another recession, the debt ceiling problem, and also the inflation. So, how will you even be able to get a job after the completion of your studies – and in your chosen career?

Even if you can manage to get a job of your liking, your salary may not be high enough for you to manage all of your expenses. Handling the debt payments, the everyday expenses, the mortgage payments, providing for your family, and even managing student loan payments… that’s definitely not going to be an easy cakewalk for you.

In order to be able to earn more money, you may have to try out newer possibilities, other than your whole time job. There are some options which you may try, depending on your abilities. You can earn money either online or offline. In addition, you may also have to try and change careers, if required. Furthermore, you will also be required to try out new skills, so that new avenues open up before you.

All of these together may help you achieve your dream, pay down your debts, and avoid bankruptcy at the same time. However, other than trying out different careers and following a simple debt pay off process, you will also have to be a responsible human being. This in the long run, can also help you to save money for the future; and you may never have to walk the way towards bankruptcy, ever in your life.

What Makes the Market Move?

Click through on the link, and be patient….

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There’s almost no chance you can beat the artificial intelligence machines that make thousands of trades a day now.  If your career is investing-related, make sure you understand how these AIs work, because they are going to trade faster, more often and (eventually) at a level of intelligence about what-makes-the-market-move than we ever will.  They will understand the Butterfly Effect in a way we never will – think “if Coke goes up .01%, we can safely predict potato commodities in Iowa will rise .03% and trade on that model.”  Spooky.

…what we see here is relatively low levels of high-frequency trading through all of 2007. Then, in 2008, a pattern starts to emerge: a big spike right at the close, at 4pm, which is soon mirrored by another spike at the open. This is the era of traders going off to play golf in the middle of the day, because nothing interesting happens except at the beginning and the end of the trading day. But it doesn’t last long.

You have to consider the fact that, when investing, you are competing against super-intelligent artificial intelligence.  That AI is taking millions of news articles, trends, data points and even seemingly unrelated data (weather, time of day, movement of other stocks) and trading on that information.  You’ll never compete with that.  Your best bet?  Join the party…. invest in broad-based mutual funds.

 

Via “Chart of the Day, High Frequency Trading Edition”, http://reut.rs/NHqjS8

man losing money

Make Your Money Last Between Jobs

man losing money

 

The following is a guest post.

If you are not working, or currently between jobs, it is imperative to ensure that your money lasts until you are employed once more. Graduates, who do not have much money saved, may need to make a number of sacrifices while waiting for their next job.

Under these circumstances, it is very important to make sure that your money lasts during the period of unemployment and that you can maximize your chances of becoming employed.

Take stock of your current financial situation

Draw up a budget as a first priority. A well-designed budget will guide you when handling both your expenses and bills, such as rent or any payments you need to make on a motorbike or vehicle purchase.

Always include any and all of your sources of income, so as to ensure the budget is as complete as possible. Money earned from a casual job or income from family members must be included.

Open a savings account

Even if you are between jobs, it is important to put as much into a savings account or high yield savings account as possible. Having money saved will help if it takes longer than you thought to secure work.

It is important to compare current accounts to make sure your money is working for you. As there are many different types of savings accounts, compare current accounts and earn the best rate of interest available.

Unemployment benefits and eliminating expenses

If you have previously held down a job, you may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. The amount will vary, dependent on the wage you were receiving, so it is best to check these important details with your unemployment office.

Eliminate all expenses that are not absolutely necessary. This is an important step to stretch your money as far as possible. The ideal situation is to cut down expenses until the amount of money you need to pay out is less than the money you currently have.

Purchase inexpensive foods and prepare meals at home, rather than ordering out or going to a restaurant. Always try to use coupons and cook with inexpensive ingredients, such as potatoes, pasta, beans and rice. Try to shop only once a week and take the shortest route to the mall.

FeedingAmerica distributes food for free to people who qualify. Make contact with your local food bank to see if you are eligible and to check on their distribution schedule.

Be conscious of lowering your utility bill, which you can do simply by only turning lights on when you need them and by taking short showers or by not filling the bath.

Arrange to have your student loan payments deferred for a period of time, or until you are employed once again.

Also pay your most essential bill first, in case you run out of money. Such bills as food, medical costs and mortgage or rent should always receive priority. Remember to also always compare current accounts before opting for one, as the banking costs can really make a big difference when your financial position is dire.

Set up and follow a “work day” routine, even when you are not employed. By doing so, you will stop yourself becoming depressed and you will keep disciplined for your next job.

Work for free

People who volunteer their services at a company are often first in line to be interviewed when permanent positions become available. Employers are quick to notice potential among those working in their organizations and if you are dedicated and conscientious, there is every reason to believe that you will eventually be offered full time work.

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