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If you haven’t visited your summer home for a while, renting it out might seem appealing. But, is your home truly ready for tenants? Keep in mind that providing minimum living conditions is necessary to be able to rent your home, and making any improvements will only increase the rent you can charge. If you planned on renting your home, but haven’t been thinking of home repairs, now’s the time to get to it. There are a couple of small fixes you can perform, that could significantly raise the rental price. Here’s what you can do to gross more money from your estate:

Fix faucets and drains

No one likes a leaky faucet. It’s not only uncomfortable, but it’s also potentially dangerous. You hold a certain level of responsibility for any damage that tenants suffer as a consequence of poor home maintenance. Leaky faucet and clogged drains can cause so much trouble, from mold to soaked ceilings. Mold should be your biggest concern since it would make you legally responsible for any health damage the tenants suffer.

Seal doors and windows

Well-operating doors and windows make a lot of difference in rent price. They affect the electric bills, which is one of the major points when tenants are choosing a place to live. During the summer, doors and windows that pass through the air will require the house to cool for longer hours, increasing the electric bill due to air conditioning. During the winter, it will require a lot more heating. The utility costs are important in determining the rental price, and most good tenants will stay clear of a home that’s hard to heat and cool.

Handle the pool

The pool is a feature that can skyrocket the rental price of the real estate, but it can also cause major trouble. You shouldn’t neglect to maintain the pool regularly, having it serviced and cleaning the filters. If you’re hiring contractors to do this, make sure they’re doing a good job. A lot of the time, when dealing with homeowners who rent the estate, contractors will slack with work but charge extra. You’re simply not there to monitor the process, and it’s easy for them to do very little work and charge you for the work that never needed doing.

Clean the pipes and the furnace

If the home you’re renting has any type of old-fashioned installations, you’ll need to get them in great shape before renting a home. All parts that serve to support heating are a fire hazard, and it’s up to you to keep these systems in their best shape. The last thing you want is to have to pay for the damage that an accidental fireplace fire caused by a clogged chimney did to the tenant’s furniture.

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Have you planed your future in detail? Probably not because you’re not the only one who thinks that putting a long-term life plan is almost impossible. However, if you want to master the art of living your life to the fullest, you should consider creating an outline of all the things you would like to achieve.

One of the things that should find the way to your list is a life insurance policy. Although you don’t find the reason to have a policy at this moment in your life, the sooner you get a coverage the better. In this article, I’m about to reveal a couple of tips to get the best insurance quote.

Life Insurance is More Than a Policy

Let’s consider this situation: you’re currently single, i.e. you don’t have a family of your own. But your parents or siblings are still a part of your life. You started a career, moving slowly towards the income level you would like to achieve. Life seems good and things are falling into the right place.

Suddenly, your parent or your sibling gets ill. They need your financial and emotional support. Of course, you’re going to give them everything you have but the thing is – it will crush you, sooner or later. 

To prevent these sudden events to twist your life upside down, you need to build a stable foundation that will help you to bounce back quickly after a crash. One way is to get a life insurance policy that will provide a financial security in challenging situations.

Life insurance policy for singles is a way to maintain a regular lifestyle in the case of turbulent life events. If you become a financial provider and supporter for one of your family members, there’s a chance that you’ll be at greater risk from getting ill yourself. And when something happens to you, there will be no one to take care of you and to cover your costs of living. 

Things to Know Before Getting a Policy

However, there are some requirements that you should meet if you want a life insurance. Before deciding which policy to choose, it’s good to meet with an insurance agent to discuss different terms and premium prices.

Out of general requirements, you need to provide the information about your health in order to get the accurate quote. If you’re struggling with a medical condition that requires constant treatment and supervision, there’s a chance that you won’t qualify for a life insurance policy or that you will have to pay a higher premium because of the higher risk involved.

When picking the insurance plan, make sure you consider a long-term perspective. Life insurance is an investment which needs to be made regularly. Still, you can choose between monthly, semi-annual and annual payments but you need to calculate the premium into your budget.

Singles do need a life insurance, contrary to the belief that it’s something that better suits married couples with kids. Being single comes with other set of responsibilities and if you want to feel secure and care-free even when the surprises occur, find out a way to invest in life insurance policy. It’s the best way to secure your future without sacrifizing the present.

 

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The sudden shortage of funds in your balance, small purchases in your credit card report you don’t remember making and the suspicious activity in your bank account (withdrawal attempts you didn’t make, are all signs that you may have fallen victim to cybercrime. However, cybercriminals have become so skillful in covering their tracks that it’s often very difficult to catch them before they cause serious damage. Here are some of the ways for you to find out if someone has been accessing your funds illegally:

 You’re subscribed to payments but don’t remember making a subscription

Scam websites and hackers will often crack someone’s PIN code and online payment passwords and use your account to make false subscriptions. What does this mean? They will most likely subscribe your account to make payments on their own websites. This can happen if someone gets a hold of your personal information. If you suspect your account has been drained of funds but you can’t trace any recent purchases, check your subscription lists to see if any unauthorized subscriptions have been made to your account.

You keep receiving requests to change passwords

If someone hacked your social media pages, they will try to use it to get your email and then steal or change passwords for your online payment services. If you keep getting notified that the requests have been made to change you PayPal, Skrill or Payoneer passwords, you are definitely a victim of cybercrime. This means that the hacker got your e-mail password and is now trying to get your money. This is why you should take request emails seriously, and always report that you weren’t the one who made the request. After this, change your email password, along with the rest of your passwords. You can never be too sure.

You are seeing too many service fees on your credit card report

Hackers will sometimes create fake accounts and name them after a bank, marking their transactions as “service fees” or “withdrawal fee”. If you can’t remember going to the ATM as frequent as you’re being charged withdrawal fees, it’s time for you to change your PIN or check the report with your bank. If they weren’t the one to have made the payment requests, report the issue and follow the bank’s instructions for securing your cards and accounts against cybercrime.

You’re getting email notifications from services you didn’t subscribe to

If hackers used your credit card to make multiple small purchases, your e-mail probably got subscribed to the website used to make purchases. In this case, check your transactions reports and see if any purchases were made from these websites.

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Saving money and the ability to actually maintain savings each month is an idea which excites most people, especially in this day and age of cut to the grind. Today, we are going to go over some basic techniques on how you can cut your electric bill.

You Need to Turn Your Lights Off

I know this concept sounds quite silly because everyone and their grandmother know to turn off the lights when a person is not occupying a room, but the bigger issue is that most people do not abide by this concept. When you are leaving a room, why on Earth would you leave the light on? It’s such a simple concept that it’s almost embarrassing stating this out. Let me give you some numbers right fast. A normal, 60-watt bulb will usually use around 0.060 kWh within a good hour. All right, so a standard family will more than likely have around 2-4 bulbs in each kitchen, as well bathroom. That concept alone will waste 120-140 watts of voltage per hour!

Light Colors in Regards of Paint

Now, you have probably never heard of this before, and it’s quite unbelievable to even image, but painting your house roof a lighter color, especially white can most definitely reduce your electric bill. How you may ask? Well, by painting your roof solid white will unsurprisingly reduce how hot your house can get, therefore cutting down on how much cool air you may have to generate during the Summer! An actual study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s heat island ground actually conducted a study, stating that within warm weather, homes with white roofs actually required 40% less energy in regards of cooling than homes with black roofs.

Know When to Use Your Appliances

Saving money really is all about knowing not what to use, but more so how to properly use what you already have. Let me provide a perfect example here. You have appliances such as a dishwasher, oven, as well your dryer. All right, did you realize that if you use these types of appliances during the night, that alone will diminish a portion of your electricity bill? It’s very true because if you decide to use these types of appliances (which cause heat) during the day, that will leave you with more warmth inside your home, having you turn on the air conditioner throughout the day; quote using more energy! I know it may seem rather problematic, but if you can get away with using most of your heat causing appliances during the night, that could help with cutting down on running your air conditioner so much and believe me, when added up, every little bit accumulates over time.

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Understanding That You Can Consolidate Your Loan

One way that students can get out of student debt is to consolidate their loans, which can be consolidated into what they call a Direct Consolidation Loan. Keep in mind that a person can do this even if they have only one federal loan riding on your record. Consolidation can be a very great selection for getting out of student loan debt if you’re able to commit to the repayment plans in which consolidation requires. What a lot of students fail to check into is if they can tap into a consolidation plan.

For example, if a person has a Federal Family Education Loan or even a Perkins Loan, this will mean that they’re not eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, but keep in mind that if they consolidate that into a Direct Consolidation Loan, therefore a person would be eligible. Please take into consideration that if a person has a Parent PLUS Loan and decide to consolidate it with other Direct Loans, they will lose access to most income-driven repayment plans on the entire consolidation (in which a person can do).

Did you know that Parent PLUS Loans are only eligible for the income-contingent repayment plan? Not only that, but a person will need to have a Direct Consolidation Loan first. Parent PLUS Loans are executed from most assistances which are provided by our federal government but keep in mind that if they consolidate these types of loans, they will become eligible for income-contingent repayment, as well Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Please remember that to consolidate a federal student loan; a person will be asked to make three unpaid repeated on-time payments on the defaulted loan. What if they don’t want to make those three voluntary payments? Not to fear, they will still be able to consolidate your loans if they simply agree to enter an income-driven repayment plan. As a side note, a person will only be able to consolidate your loans once and below in a listing format; we are going to provide out that specific process.

Number One: To start, a person must apply online through www.studentloans.gov or transfer an application form and mail a finished copy to the Department of Education.

Number Two: Once they have applied, the department will then mail you a thorough listing of all the loans that would be comprised in the consolidation and the repayment plan they have nominated. They will have fifteen days to evaluate and dispute any of the terms of your loan(s), counting what repayment plan you’re going to be placed in or interest rates. If they don’t contact the Department in that fifteen-day period, the agency will accept everything is correct and process the consolidation. While the department is putting all this data together, the agency will most likely demand that they make interest costs on the loans. If a person can’t afford the interest costs, they can apply for forbearance until they can inform the student to authorize their new consolidated loan sum amount.

Number Three: The collection costs related with their defaulted loan will likely be added to the principle of your new Direct Consolidation Loan, but legally the costs will not surpass more than 18.5% of the remaining principal and interest. For example, a defaulted loan of $8,500 plus $1,500 of accrued interest = $10,000. Fees of $1,850 can be added to the $10,000, and that would mean that the new consolidated loan amount would total $11,850.

Number Four: To qualify, a person will be asked to make three uninterrupted, as well rational and inexpensive monthly payments or agree to enter into income-contingent reimbursement or an Income-Based repayment strategy.

Now, after that initial process, all your loans will be rolled into one loan in regards of only having to pay one payment per month, and therefore a person can then begin to make their regular payments.

 

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Let’s be honest, if there is one sure thing that we were not properly taught of in school, it is the ability to properly manage our personal finance.

Another sad thing is, most of us does not bother ourselves enough to be more educated in handling our finances. And this is why we may remain financially illiterate no matter how successful we are in our chosen career.

Successful and wealthy individuals often say that managing finances is a matter of self-discipline just like controlling our personal expenditures to save a portion of our hard-earned money. Self-discipline is a virtue that isn’t something inheritable, but it can be learned if we are willing to sacrifice a bit to acquire it.

Once we resolved to ourselves to be disciplined in our finances, then we should start adhering to the cardinal rules of personal finance. Financial experts, in their wisdom and financial literacy, agree to these 5 key rules to achieve financial freedom and wealth.

Do not spend more than what we earn

This basic sound so simple, yet it is the hardest. A lot of us are guilty on this, and it is evident especially during payday when we become one-day millionaires, and broke the next day. It happens because we justifiably satisfy our wants and needs as a reward for our hard work. Consequently, we often overspend and forget about saving a portion of our salary.

The simplest way to remember this rule of spending within our means is to properly define our ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ based on economics. So, wants are simply the things that are not needed for survival like gadgets and car, while a need refers to the things we need for survival like water, food, and shelter.

Maintain an emergency fund

Since we do not have a hold on our future it is very important to set aside a certain amount of money for emergency purposes. This dedicated fund can be used for possible contingencies like payment for our hospital bills and medications.

Refrain from incurring debts

It is hard for us to save money if we have outstanding debts to pay. The only way to get out of debt is by paying the principal amount first and the interest due. Once we get out of it, we should refrain from incurring debts and stick with our available cash on hand.

Invest

After saving a fraction of our salary, we should then start investing. We can try to put it in a mutual fund, stocks or invest it in securities where it can earn dividends aside from the possible increase of the value of your investment. When we invest, our money works for us instead of us working for it, provided we invested it on a legitimate instrument and learn also the art of properly investing. 

 Retirement fund

For most of us, in preparation for our compulsory retirement upon reaching a certain age, it is advisable to allocate a portion of our salary on a retirement fund. Not only does this fund serve as a security for us to still have money when we’re no longer working, we can also use it to pursue our passion, travel, or start a new business.

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You cannot totally eliminate a bad habit, but you can definitely replace them with good ones. Mindfulness is required in pursuing your goals, of which includes scrutinizing your habits to see if it’s hindering you in achieving your goals. Admittedly, habits are hard to form, unless of course, you implement it regularly or daily. In starting to form a simple, uncomplicated habit though, you will have more success in following through.

It is important also to remember that to be effective in forming new habits, your determination — your willingness to apply it into your life is a key ingredient. Without this eagerness, nothing you will do will ever be completed with the highest possibility of positive yields. So, if you want to accomplish something, first decide to stick with it no matter how tough it gets.

It’s rare to find a very successful person that has only one habit that helped him achieve his status. Usually, these successful peeps have a collection of good habits that they practice consistently to compliment them in executing their plans. Thus, aside from determination, forming a new habit successfully also requires you to do it regularly so as to familiarize and become comfortable with it until such that you do it effortlessly.

There are so many good habits you can start implementing in your life, you should take some time to determine which set you need in order to reach your goals. And if you really need a little help, try cultivating these three simple habits.

Journal your thoughts and ideas promptly.

Sometimes the best ideas you have, gets lost in the absurdity of the mundane that distracts you daily. It’s frustrating when you can no longer remember a bright idea or thought which may have momentarily visited you the other day. Don’t risk losing these brilliant ideas because it may be the ticket you’ve been waiting to reach success. And one sure way to capture these thoughts’ is to journal it straight away. Don’t wait until you ‘have the time’, keep a handy notebook or a post-it, or write it on your phone’s note app. You can also try recording it on your voice memo app, or compose an email and send it to your active account so you can return to it when time permits.

Hone your core strengths daily

It’s not enough to know that you are naturally good at something, it’s better to be a master or even a genius at it. Set aside time every day to improve your skills. If you are good at so many things, try picking one to master for a certain period of time. Choose the one that will help you tremendously in hitting your goals. Building your core strengths daily not only enhances your talent, it also open doors of profitable opportunities.

Make and keep your promises to yourself.

Just like forming a new habit, sometimes keeping a promise is just plain hard. It’s not that you don’t want to, it is just that circumstances keep you from doing so. Yet, despite it, try making and keeping promises to yourself on a consistent basis. Promises like doing your hardest to developed the two habits mentioned above. This is something good to practice regularly because making self-deposits to yourself builds your character; you are holding yourself accountable to your own actions.

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In the modern world we live in, our life has become more complex and our needs too, expands day by day. Sometimes, we are confused what things to prioritize and we end up trying to determine what our real needs are. Our needs had rapidly increased and we hardly cope with it especially when we already have a family of our own, the time when we try our best to reconsider our finances.

When we have so many needs we can list of, it soon becomes a challenge dealing with it. We may become financially drained and might end up indebted to other people or in banks. All of us know that when we have debts we do not only pay for the capital amount, but we also pay for the interest charged. And if left unpaid, it compounds.

However, if there is one person who can be spared in going through this situation, it is someone who is frugal. A frugal person knows his financial limits, including how to utilize his resources effectively.

Why is that so? A frugal person practically knew his money spending, he allocates certain amount for his daily expenses and he is in complete control of exhausting his available assets or resources. Consequently, a frugal person become creative and resourceful in exploring other options to meet his needs.

In doing so, people who are frugal tends to better discover themselves, their talents and skills, and use these knowledge to their advantage. In this case, we are being taught that if we look deeper, there are various options for us which can help minimize our expenses.

For example, when we need a quick and simple fix to be done in our house such as a clogged sink and toilet, we can opt doing it by ourselves instead of calling a plumber. Or in doing some mechanical repair of our own car instead of asking a mechanic to do it for us, and even installing or changing a door lock instead of hiring a carpenter can save us a lot of money. When we are frugal, it unleashes our resourcefulness and sometimes it helps us learn doing practical stuffs too.

Being frugal, we try to do things by ourselves and try not to hire someone else to do simple tasks. This not only adds to our savings, but it also adds empirical life experience. We also become creative by learning or making researches on how to do certain things.

Practicality is the main virtue of a frugal person. In real life, when we are frugal we tend to do household chores like bleaching our clothes without damaging it, properly declogging or cleaning our sinks and bathrooms without spending too much, or redecorating or renovating our homes without breaking the bank.

These are just few instances which clearly shows that being frugal has an edge in terms of spending money wisely and saving more of it. The beauty of being a human being is that when we really want something, despite limitations, we can choose to exercise our ability to be creative and resourceful.

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