Monthly Archives: November 2016
Now more than ever, obtaining a formal education is essential to long-term financial prospects. The difference between having a college education and not having one can be hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your working years, and this has pressured many into seeking higher education in every field. Unfortunately, college is now more expensive than ever, making it difficult for many to obtain that education without financing mortgage-like levels of debt in the process. If you’re planning on obtaining your master’s degree but want to avoid five- and six-figure mountains of debt in the process, then you’ll want to read below about some tips that can help.
Consider Your Options
In today’s world of education, an advanced degree doesn’t necessarily mean tons of debt. You’ll want to consider multiple pathways to obtaining your master’s degree. While some colleges and universities are quite expensive, you’ll be able to find affordable solutions such as your community college. The courses through these institutions are often substantially cheaper and can help you avoid accruing lots of debt, if any at all. Additionally, some online institutions may provide a price point that is more reasonable than a traditional educational setting. There are many colleges, including traditional universities, which offer online masters in business administration, accounting, and dozens of other fields for less than the brick and mortar experience.
Not everybody has thousands of dollars saved up for obtaining their master’s degree. Fortunately, this isn’t necessary. If you want to minimize any debt when earning your master’s degree, then consider taking courses part-time. This will allow you to pursue your dream of obtaining your masters, but will also reduce the cost per semester, giving you a chance to pay upfront for the classes without borrowing any money. For many working people who hate the notion of debt, this is a preferred method of pursuing associates, bachelors and master’s degrees alike.
Those returning to school or who are pursuing advanced degrees may not consider scholarships as a viable option, but they are available. Just because you are older or pursuing additional education doesn’t mean that you’re ineligible for this type of financial aid. With many billions in scholarship dollars awarded each year to college enrollees, there are undoubtedly specific scholarships for those pursuing master’s degrees that you can apply for and compete to win.
Look Into Work Study Programs
Last but not least, there are many work study or on-campus work programs that can help students seeking their MBA in information technology or BS in political science to eliminate potential debt. These programs can cover everything from volunteer and charitable work off-campus to faculty-related assistance jobs that help save the college money. Especially when combined with other strategies mentioned here, these work study programs can eliminate any potential debt associated with a master’s degree.
Pursuing advanced education without acquiring debt is a noble feat. If you’re ready to get that masters but don’t want to be paying off loans for years, then consider a combination of scholarships, online and community college learning, work study programs and a part-time enrollment to help make it possible.
If you’re thinking about starting a small business, then you need to make sure that your finances are covered. If there is even so much as a whisper that your business is not on the up-and-up, you risk losing everything, anything from a poor health inspection grade to an unsatisfied customer spreading their dissatisfaction by word of mouth. Remember, despite how hard you have worked to open up a successful business, some quick-scheming good-for-naught can take it all away.
Fortunately, there are ways to protect yourself. Here are five small business insurance policies that will keep your business ventures going strong should you come up against opposition.
General Liability Insurance
Whether your company is made up of five employees or 200, general liability insurance is a policy that every business owner should have. The standard business insurance policy, general liability insurance offers financial help if your business is sued for damages. If a client should be unhappy with a product they purchased or a service they received, general liability insurance will cover the property damage and bodily injury costs of said client.
Professional Liability Insurance
You can’t get general liability insurance without professional liability insurance. Why? You ask. Isn’t it the same thing? Nope. Insurance for small business owners is not a one-size-fits-all sort of thing. Different policies (much like the policies you have on your car and your house) offer very specific coverage. If you got in a car accident today, your homeowners insurance wouldn’t cover the cost. The same can be said of business insurance. Each policy is detailed to protect you in a particular instance. No, this does not make your coverage more expensive. Rather, you are given insurance discounts for having more than one policy.
Also known and errors and omissions insurance, professional liability insurance covers litigation and damages at times when your advice services have been deemed poor. If you own your own firm, you need to have a professional liability insurance policy.
If you own the storefront or structure your services and/or products are housed in, property insurance will cover the structural and equipment losses (this includes inventory) if it is lost, stolen or vandalized. Burglary, vandalism, fraud and employee theft costs businesses billions of dollars. If your place of business had to close its doors for a week or more for repairs, would your business have the funds to open up again later? Property damage insurance would finance the repairs and adjustments in a timely manner so that you can focus on your business.
The business owner’s policy is an insurance type that has a little bit of everything, including:
- Property insurance
- Liability insurance
- Crime insurance
- Fleet insurance
- Business interruption insurance
Created for the business owner who isn’t altogether sure which policy or policies they’ll need the most, a BOP insurance plan will cover all your bases until you have a better understanding of what it is your company needs.
If your business specializes in some type of delivery or shuttle service, you’re going to need an insurance policy that protects your vehicle fleet. If one of your drivers should be involved in an accident during working hours and providing a work-related service, neither their or your private car insurance will cover the damages. Fleet insurance (also known and commercial auto insurance) covers vans, SUVs, trucks and passenger vehicles used for your business and by your associates. If your employees drive their own vehicles as part of your business operations, Forbes Magazine suggests purchasing non-owned auto liability insurance to protect your employee and your business.
There are multiple business insurance policies out there, this is just a few. If you want to get your business off on the right foot, make sure you start with the policies listed above; they’ll protect you when you need it most.
When it comes to managing finances, nearly every family is attempting a juggling act. It can be difficult to take care of groceries, kids’ necessities and bills every month. Coupons and other money-saving methods are a great way to cut expenses and build habits that save money. Another great way to stretch your budget is to identify the top categories you are most likely to overspend in. Every family is likely to go a little bit over budget from time to time, but you can prevent it by being proactive and planning ahead for your monthly purchases. Read on to see which three categories families typically overspend in and how you can curb your expenses to prevent such a fate. With the right information and attitude, you can nail monthly budgeting and ensure you maintain control of family finances. Remember that you, and not money, should be the boss.
Some supermoms can plan the week or even the month’s meals in advance, but the rest of us usually aren’t so organized. It’s ok if this just isn’t you, but there are some things you should be aware of when you make your grocery shopping trips. Rather than stressing over the pressure to plan meals and serve up gourmet dishes, work your way backwards. Go to the store with money-saving methods in mind, and build meals based on the foods you can get a great deal on. Shifting your priorities like this is a great way to focus on frugality.
Studies suggest that many people are guilty of overspending on their insurance policies. It isn’t always easy to know where the best deal is, and when you’re locked into six-month blocks of payments, you might not get the chance to explore other options. It is worth it to seek out more info, though, and find a policy that meets you needs and lowers your bills. Researching bundle deals and discounts you might be eligible for is a great place to start. When you find coverage that looks ideal, you can reach out to an agent for more info.
Gasoline rounds out the top three categories that families often overspend on. Even if you seek out the lowest prices available at the pump, you might be missing out on discounts that can lower your costs even further. Do some research to see if there are any loyalty cards available that offer combined discounts on groceries and gas. Some chains offer these and other incentives that can have a great effect on your overall gas bill. There’s no need to overpay just to fuel your car. Cut down on costs by looking for additional ways to save. Saving isn’t easy when you’re managing a family and trying to keep everything in order. It’s easier, though, when you understand what your most common culprits for overspending are. Instead of worrying about over going over your budget every month, take the time to plan ahead and avoid extra expenses in these categories. Doing so can save you significant time, money and stress.
Stocks and bonds aren’t the only way to invest. Sometimes it literally pays to think outside the box, and look toward more unusual but lucrative means of investing. Sponsoring and funding the work or performance of individuals in return for a share of whatever profit they make is something both private investors and businesses can consider.
Anyone clued up about modern day investment will likely already know that the contemporary art market is booming. The sometimes elitist nature of art criticism can make the art world seem daunting. Knowing what will be likely to flourish and what will fluke isn’t easy to determine in any field of investment, but art trends can be particularly unpredictable. It’s far from an easy market to break into, in other words, but investors can make millions of dollars investing in artworks which drastically increase in value between just a couple of years to a couple of decades. More frequently, however, investors are choosing to focus on the artist as opposed to single works of art.
Artists need high quality material with which to create their art pieces. They also need exposure, such as by having their art installed in popular galleries. They need to build contacts and undergo any training or study required to further their craft. Typically, it has been the art galleries that have invested in promising individual artists, however the trend for private and art-savvy individuals to identify emerging artists, and personally fund them, is becoming increasingly common. Often, artists find it disheartening to deal with the financial and promotional aspect of their work, and it therefore suits them to find someone who will take those responsibilities of their hands in return for some of the sold art’s profit. If you know anything about art, or are at least willing to learn about the art market, then consider investing in the next Basquiat or Hesse.
Backing Poker Players
The so-called ‘staking’ investment trend has gained increasing popularity in recent years. As poker has become a game based on skillful strategy as much as luck, and with young promising players demonstrating consistent success at the card table, investors are seeing the financial potential in backing players. You cover or contribute toward the cost of a buy-in, which gives you ‘stakes’ in the player’s eventual winnings. Typically, an investor receives back the money they provided for the buy-in, plus 50% of whatever remains from the player’s winnings.
Staking can be done for players playing both live tournaments and real-money online poker games. This arrangement benefits players who could not have otherwise afforded the buy-ins to high-stake poker tournaments. Ideally, you’ll know enough about poker to develop an eye for talented players.
If you have an interest in poker, consider signing up to agencies which function as a matchmaking services between poker players and ‘stakers’. These agencies also help formalize the contract and keep track of the tournaments in which players participate as well as their winnings. Staking is an especially popular investment trend because one can invest as little as $100 at first, gradually increasing their contribution toward buy-ins as they gain more confidence in the player of their choice.
Funding a promising student through university makes most sense if you are a business looking to invest in future employees that will be well-educated and loyal. Funding can be awarded in the form of brand scholarships, which in turn can lead the student in question entering into an internship at your business and (if all goes to plan) eventually taking on full-time employment. Education in US is amongst the most expensive in the world, leaving many students in need of financial help. This arrangement is especially practical in fields which require a very specific skillset or education, or a field in which there is simply a lack of qualified personnel.
These are just a few examples of the many way you can benefit from sponsoring individual people as opposed to businesses, properties or commodities. Being able to form a personal connection with the subject of your investment is a luxury most investors forego – so think about what talented individuals can offer you when it comes to your next portfolio addition.