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As far as online retailers go, Amazon is arguably running the show. While fashion e-commerce accounted for roughly 20.4% of all fashion retail sales in the U.S. during 2018, Amazon is the competitor to beat in the online shopping realm.

And with new acquisitions and innovations tied to the brand emerging on a near-daily basis, anyone who wants to give Amazon a run for their money will likely end up spending a lot of their own.

In addition to digital assistants, shipping fleets, drones, and who knows what else the company is cooking up, Amazon recently announced they’ll partner with Synchrony Financial to create a credit card that allows people with poor credit scores to build theirs up over time. But is it possible that this idea isn’t as sound as it seems?

In our world of convenience, we rely on plastic for just about everything. From tools and equipment created through the reaction injection molding process to the bags and containers we use to carry and hold our everyday belongings, we’re dependent upon this lightweight and versatile material. And, of course, we use it as one major option for legal tender. Despite the fact that 16.8% of all identity theft fraud cases that occurred in 2017 were the result of credit card fraud, we’re not deterred from using this handy method of payment. But, of course, there are downsides. It’s easier to forget about what you spend when you have to pay for it later on, which can often result in consumer debts, late payments, and poor credit scores.

But Amazon claims they might have a solution. The company already has one credit card of its own, called the Amazon Store card, which offers rewards like 5% cash back on purchases to encourage customers to use this card instead of other cards in their wallets or purses. But now, the company will again be teaming up with the publicly traded bank (which powers that aforementioned Store card) to launch the Amazon Credit Builder program. It’s meant to lend to consumers who have either bad credit or no credit history at all, two demographics who are excluded from the company’s loyalty card company.

This new card will offer the same rewards as Amazon’s other card, but it will be what’s known as a secured card. It requires a refundable security deposit (which can be anywhere from $100 to $1,000) that will serve as the credit limit for the card. While secured cards have often been used as a way for consumers to build or rebuild their credit, it’s always been an option offered only by banks until now. In addition, the card will offer no annual fee and special financing options on certain purchases.

According to FICO, roughly 53 million people have no credit history, with 79 million others who have subprime credit. But while the idea might sound appealing on paper, not everyone is on board. Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have already spoken out against the card, which comes with a 28.24% interest rate and could potentially stand to make consumer credit much worse if bills aren’t paid in full and on time. If used properly, the card could conceivably help — but that’s a big “if,” according to many experts. Plus, since the card is affiliated with Amazon and can be used only for Amazon purchases, it might make it much easier for customers to over-spend on the website or app and regret it later when they get the bill.

It’s also important to note that this particular card uses deferred interest as part of its 0% APR introductory offer. While deferred interest is relatively common among retailer credit cards, it’s not something typically included in secured credit cards. If a card owner doesn’t pay off the card in full by the end of that promotional period, that individual will be forced to pay accrued interest retroactively, which could add extra emotional and financial stress.

What’s more, the way that Amazon calculates the card’s promotional period and the card owner’s payments is on a sliding scale that’s based on the amount of purchases made. Ultimately, using this card could end up creating more confusion and less financial control, which is exactly what people with poor or no credit really don’t need.

Certainly, the card has some intriguing features and could be a good way for a financially responsible person to start building their credit from the onset. But if you’ve had credit issues in the past or you don’t do enough research, adding Amazon’s newest credit card to your wallet could end up being a big mistake that could do more harm than good.

The post Amazon’s New Card Promises to Improve Your Credit, But Could It Hurt More Than Help? appeared first on MoneyMiniBlog.

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As most small business owners will attest, human capital is their most important investment. Other than the solo practitioner, entrepreneurs depend on a competent and ethical–though modest in number–workforce to manage operations; serve clients and customers; and tend to company infrastructure.

Recruiting associates for such an enterprise is not as easy as it looks to the casual observer. Some prospects make good interviewees, but poor employees. Resumes do not always depict a background accurately. A sense of urgency on the part of the owner can also skew the hiring process in favor of expediency. 

However, using reliable sources for finding great employees can offset these hazards:

1. Use Agencies to Find Staff

Tried and true resources for employers to find people in whom they can place confidence are staffing agencies. Also known as search firms, recruiting agencies or hiring services, these organizations vary one to another. Some provide temporary workers whom the employer can bring in on a trial basis. Some specialize in clerical and unskilled labor while others are profession and industry-specific: FusionMedStaff.com is an example of a staffing agency servicing a specific sector of the market.

Others concentrate on management and executive recruiting. Whatever the needs of a small business owner, it is likely that a staffing agency can assist because it performs much of the evaluation and vetting that a human resources department of a larger firm would do. Of course, this service is not free. On the other hand, the time it saves entrepreneurs in headhunting and researching can be money well spent. 

2. Use Online Recruitment Tools

With the advent of the internet, job-seekers discovered a way to get resume exposure without mailing out scores of them every week. Monster.com, Indeed.com, ZipRecruiter and the like allow one resume to be seen by countless employers.

A number of these sites function as basic job boards but others are more sophisticated. Businesses looking for able and honest workers can now post detailed descriptions of their job openings as well as links to their company websites.

Since the prospects essentially fill out applications and attach resumes online, the site administrators install algorithms to verify that each application is complete before the employer can see it. This is another way to maximize efficiency. Search firms, by the way, often use an online presence to bring people aboard.

3. Use Social Media

LinkedIn and other social media outlets allow managers to peruse talent pools in certain jobs without any formal contact. In this venue, prospective hires are not necessarily looking for work yet they may be an excellent fit for the opening. Social media gives searchers a sense of a prospect’s fitness without requiring formal application and interview.

4. Use Blogging and Content Marketing

Regularly updating the business website with new and interesting content attracts others in the business. One may just be the perfect hire. You never know if something you post or publish encourages talent to seek out employment at your place of business.

While the age of automation is seemingly upon us, humans continue to be the most vital part of most business operations. In order to run your business the best way possible, you need the best people.

The post 4 Tips for Finding the Best Employees for Your Small Business appeared first on MoneyMiniBlog.

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Whether you’re at the beginning of your career or are toward the end of it, a retirement plan should be in the works. You need to be sure that when the time does come, you are capable of retiring without a hassle. Thinking about retirement and all of the steps it takes to get there can be a mind-bending experience.

Luckily for you though, with a few tips and a good strategy, you can rest assured that your retirement days will be as smooth as the key lime pie you’ll be having while visiting the Florida Keys.

Down to the Nitty Gritty

One thing to know about retirement is that it’s never too late to start saving, at least, not unless you plan on retiring tomorrow without a plan in place. Then it might be too late. Don’t wait that long. If you’re looking for a personal policy, there are many options available to you depending on your wants and needs.

Decide on a number that will fit your budget and your future lifestyle. Remember that when you finally do retire, you’ll need to account for all the money you’ll need to have on hand in the years thereafter. If you’re choosing a retirement plan for your business, then there are different options to consider.

A traditional format would be a 401(k) for business. It provides you and your employees with options for down the road. The next big thing to think about, of course, is your savings. 

How Much to Save

That’s the big question right, how much do I save? Well, in the end, that is entirely up to you and what you can afford.

If you need a little help, try out this savings calculator to give you a general idea on what you should aim for, when saving for retirement. As this is a case by case scenario, you are going to have to get your numbers together, understand your current lifestyle or the life you want to live in your golden years and make the adjustments.

Think about where you want to live, the home you’ll want to live in and the expenses that come with day-to-day life. These things will help you gauge how much you should save for your retirement. 

For Anyone You Know Retiring

If you know someone well on their path to retirement, you might just want to ask them a few questions on the steps they took to get ready. They can give you their real-life experience, which you can use to get a better understanding of the process.

This way you can begin to map out your path and journey. Then, if it is a colleague you know at work who is retiring, you can give them a gift as a thank you for all their help. Companies like Perfect Feast make it easy to show recognition and are out-of-the-box when it comes to employee recognition items. It’s a nice gesture for someone who has put in many years of dependable work.

Plans After Retirement

As you approach retirement, you’ll have a few things to think about. First and foremost, what will you do with all of your new found time? With the 9 to 5 in your rearview mirror, you can come and go as you please, which is a great feeling. You can travel the country and the world if that’s what you want to do. As soon as you retire you can take off to your favorite destinations or even try out new locations to see the sights and take in the culture. Just be sure to save enough for all of your future destinations. 

Don’t Forget to Live Within Your Means

This is a big factor when you’re on your way to retirement. Being able to live within your means is important because you no longer have your paycheck or possible overtime to depend on.

Decide how much money you’ll need to comfortably live on monthly so that you’ll be prepared. And always plan for the unexpected as life does get in the way at the worst times and you’ll want to be ready if it happens to you. 

The post Thinking About Retirement, Here are Some Things You Should Know appeared first on MoneyMiniBlog.

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When a person’s debts build to the point that it becomes impossible to keep up with payments, it will sometimes make sense to consider filing for bankruptcy. There are three distinct forms of bankruptcy protection that are made available to individuals under federal law, two of which are far more frequently sought than the other.

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is the more common of these two, but not every debtor qualifies for it. A quick look at the issues will reveal, though, that determining whether Chapter 7 bankruptcy will be an option never needs to be difficult.

The Type of Bankruptcy for Which Most Individual Debtors Opt

Attorneys like those at the Law Office of Ronald D. Weiss regularly help debtors obtain protection from creditors under Title 11, Chapter 7 of the United States Code. As the most profoundly definitive and final of the various forms of bankruptcy, Chapter 7 provides a fresh start to many debtors each year.

In fact,more than two-thirds of all bankruptcy petitions by individualsare filed under Chapter 7 of the law. Despite that, qualifying for this form of legally granted protection is never to be taken for granted.

That is because there are some fairly strict requirements governing just who can obtain Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and under which circumstances. Some of the issues that most often prove relevant are:

Income

Chapter 7 is reserved for individuals of relatively modest means, with debtors who are especially well off normally being forced to make use of other options. Since 2005, debtors’ current levels of income are compared by the court to established averages for the state and region of residence. Debtors whose recent levels of income exceed the median will normally qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy only if their debts are correspondingly large. A detailed means test will be applied to determine whether this bar has been reached.

Counseling

The law requires that anyone who plans to seek protection under Chapter 7 must first complete an approved credit counseling course. This measure is meant to ensure that the kinds of problems which led to the need to file for bankruptcy will be less likely to arise again in the future.

Past Bankruptcies

Bankruptcy protection is to be sought and provided only when conditions of unusual need are present. Debtors are not supposed to file for bankruptcy casually or frequently, and the law includes safeguards against such behaviors. Generally speaking, a debtor who has filed for or obtained any form of bankruptcy protection in the past will need to wait a number of years before petitioning for it again.

Type of Entity

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is most often pursued by individuals and various kinds of businesses. There are other types of legally recognized entities that will normally not be eligible for this type of protection from creditors.

A Serious Step That is Sometimes for the Best

Requirements like these are imposed to ensure that Chapter 7 bankruptcy will be available only to those who have real need of it and seek it out in good faith. Because Chapter 7 most often involves the liquidation of some or all of a debtor’s assets, it should always be considered a major step that will produce significant, long-lasting consequences. For many debtors each year who do qualify and are grappling with serious financial problems, though, Chapter 7 proves to be the best available solution. 

The post Assessing Your Means: Do You Qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy? appeared first on MoneyMiniBlog.

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Legal marijuana has meant a lot of different things for a lot of different people. For the flower celebrating pot heads amongst us, it means not having to walk into a dingy alleyway and potentially get arrested to acquire a joint. And for those not shy of an investment, it’s potentially the next Bitcoin.

For the last 100 years, there was nothing legal about making money from marijuana. Now, investors are taking the chance to make millions selling something that literally doesn’t require selling; it’s already sold, and people have loved this very prohibited substance for a very long time.

There are hundreds of ways to make money off legal marijuana; from isolating cannabinoids and selling them as raw materials, to growing hemp for the purpose of CBD product manufacture, all the way down to manufacturing grow equipment for cultivators. The avenues through which investors, and even regular people, can search for a profit is virtually infinite.

For the Green Thumb: Grow Cannabis

An obvious way to make money off legal marijuana is to grow cannabis. There is an overwhelming demand for cannabis at the moment, even if it isn’t going to be smoked. It is often used to manufacture other cannabis-derived products such as CBD oils, isolate or edibles. Plus, this is arguably the most laborious part of cannabis product manufacture: growing it.

With that said, a grow operation needs space, time and a lot of skill, not to mention customers. And there are a lot of those, like the mountains of cannabis growers in the Emerald Triangle. Aside from huge competition, there’s money to be made in being a cannabis or hemp farmer.

For the Chemist: Extract Cannabinoids

We might be well and truly past the days of money-making cannabis farms. The future of cannabis is looking more and more like a scientific experiment with cannabinoid extraction (but of course, we still need farms for that). Isolated cannabinoids are becoming increasingly popular in the USA, and are beginning to intersect with pharmaceuticals (take GW Pharmaceutica’s Sativex, for example).

Yes – there are pharmaceutical companies that want to buy pure, isolated cannabinoids for the purpose of manufacturing pharmaceutical-grade medicines. A lot of technology is required for cannabinoid extraction and a super nifty, chemical mind. Development in cannabinoid extraction is growing in popularity and demand.

For the People Person: Be a Budtender

Seeing a cannabis dispensary while walking through the streets of San Francisco is just as likely as seeing a Walmart. They are, well, everywhere. And they all need well-educated, friendly retail staff. Some of us could only have dreamed of having a part-time job in a cannabis dispensary as little as a decade ago. Now, it’s a real opportunity for those who want to work in the front-of-house aspect of the cannabis industry.

A love of cannabis and a friendly attitude is all that’s really required to be a budtender. However, given the increase in the number of people who want the job, it’s not always that easy to acquire one.

For the Artist: Design, Design, Design

The projected market value of CBD and other cannabis products is steadily climbing. Every year, there’s a new and bigger estimate on how much the cannabis industry will be worth. There are new companies and product manufacturers popping up everywhere. And yes – their websites, products, and labels need design elements too.

Website designers can make a ton of money from big investors starting cannabis businesses. This is good for writers, graphical artists and those who know something about website building.

For the Money Bags: Invest!

Then there are those who don’t necessarily want to do much at all but have some money to make someone else’s cannabis business come true. The thing with investing in the cannabis industry is there are almost endless avenues through which one can step in. Think about it. An investor can pump money into any of the following aspects of the cannabis industry:

  • Cannabis retail businesses
  • Cannabis wholesale businesses
  • Cannabis farms
  • Manufacture of cannabis-related grow equipment
  • CBD or THC product manufacture
  • Pharmaceutical-grade cannabinoid extraction
  • Extraction equipment and technology
  • Research and development

These are literally just a handful of the different places an investor can invest some money into the cannabis industry. While some of them are peripheral aspects of the cannabis industry, they are nonetheless in high demand.

There are numerous ways for just about anybody to make money off legal marijuana. There even exist professional, influential, Instagram-famous joint rollers who roll specialty joints for a large sum of money.  The sky really is the limit in an industry as big and new as cannabis, and there’s even some room for creativity and innovation!

The post The Ways You Can Make Money Off Legal Marijuana appeared first on MoneyMiniBlog.

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The Australian Government, through the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, approved 7,700,000 temporary visas between 2015 and 2016. If you are thinking of moving to the Down Under, here is what you need to know first. From obtaining the right visa to facts about Australian culture, renting, and driving, here are ten essential tips for relocating to Australia. 

Get a Visa

The first thing you need to do before you can relocate to Australia should be to secure a valid visa. Unless you’re an Australian citizen, you are required to apply for a traveling visa before you can leave your country of origin. It is worth noting that there are several types of visa available, and your intended length of stay, purpose, and passport of your visit will determine the kind you get. To learn more abouthow to get a job in Australiaandthe type of visa to apply for or you are eligible for, visit Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection Website.

You Will Need a Tax File Number

If you intend to live and work in Australia, then you will need to get yourself a TFN or tax file number. This TFN is your reference number in Australia’s tax system. While it is not compulsory, it is advisable that you get one. Why? People who do not have a TFN pay higher taxes than those who do have the number. Applying for tax file number is free and can be done via the internet once you’ve acquired your work visa.

Understand The Cost of Renting In Australia 

The price of rental properties in Australia is quite high (and somewhat confusing) and will sweep you off your feet if you aren’t ready, so grab a seat. Rental prices in the country are advertised per week, instead of per month. Though quoted as weekly, they are often charged monthly. As per this article, the average property in Sydney will set you back a cool $480/week, while in Melbourne, you might end up paying up to $340/week for a one-bedroom flat. 

Stick to the Left 

Unlike in America, Australians sit on the right side of the car and drive on the left side of the road, just like in the United Kingdom. However, unlike in the United Kingdom, Australians keep to the left on pathways, escalators, and sidewalks. 

Learn Australian English

Australia is multilingual, but English is the dominant language. However, do not be fooled; Australian English is choke-full of unique abbreviations, slang, and colloquialisms. Any proper noun containing three syllables or more is shortened. For instance, a mosquito in Australia is called a Mozzie, and Australia itself is called Straya. Natives greeting can also be baffling to foreigners, especially the phrase “how you going,” which is not a question but a greeting.

Slip, Slap, and Slop

It is worth noting that Australia experiences some of the highest levels of ultraviolet radiation and has the highest rate of melanoma in the world due to its position in relation to the equator. Considering this, it is essential that you always apply SPF30+/50+ broad-spectrum sunscreen every time you go outside, especially during summer.

Review Smoking Laws and Costs

Smoking is a costly habit to maintain in Australia, considering that an average cigarette pack costs 35.20AUD. Furthermore, the packets themselves are barred from featuring any promotional text or logos and are, instead, covered with disturbing, smoking-related photos and tobacco use warning messages. It is also worth noting that smoking is also banned in airports, public transport, and most enclosed public places like enclosed restaurants.

Understand Australian Humour

Aussies have a satirical, dry, and irreverent sense of humor, which isn’t always understood by other people and cultures, and sometimes offends people. Self-deprecating and dark, Australians tend to poke fun at friends as a way of building bonds. They also love to exaggerate stereotypes. To understand what’s being said here, watch The Chaser’s War, Summer Heights High, Kath and Kim or listen to comedians and radio hosts Andy and Hamish. 

Acknowledge Aboriginal Respect

Aboriginals are the indigenous people who’ve inhabited the continent for over 65,000 years. While Australia is extensively multicultural, it is essential that you be respectful towards the original inhabitants of the land. Since the arrival of the very First Fleet back in 1788, the Aboriginals have been discriminated against and suffered at the hands of white settlers. Speeches at functions and events today often start with The Acknowledgement of Country, which pay homage to the original inhabitants of the land.

Find Portable Wi-Fi Routers

While Wi-Fi might have been invented in Australia, that does not mean you are going to enjoy fast internet in the country. The exciting thing is that Australia was, in a recent internet speeds poll, ranked 60th in the world. Public hotspots are unreliable and have restricted and limited access. Want to stay connected? Carry with you a portable Wi-Fi Router.

The post A Guide to Moving to and Making a Career in Australia appeared first on MoneyMiniBlog.

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Staying fit is a surefire way of delivering the best result in everything you. The best methods to ensure a healthy body and mind is through diet and exercise. By eating healthy and balanced meals, you’re providing the necessary nutrients and minerals your body needs to function. If you add some minutes of exercise to your healthy diet, you’ll always be 100% fit to face all your tasks each day. 

If you’re still wondering on the impact of fitness to your productivity level, consider these six points;

1. Staying Fit increases your energy levels

Eating the right foods and engaging in some physical workouts helps to increase your energy levels. Some healthy carbs supply energy to the body while exercise boosts the production of ATP, adenosine triphosphate. The work of ATP is to provide the energy which the body uses to power muscle contraction and movement. 

During an exercise, the cells secrete a large amount of ATP, which will keep your body energized even after the workout. However, you don’t need to hit the gym for intense exercises to produce ATP. With low-intensity workouts, you’ll enjoy day-long energy you never considered possible. 

2. It keeps you focused and alert

Staying fit ensures that you stay focused and alert all day long.Let’s say that you’re often faced with complex tasks and data analysis, you must always be alert with a clear mind to tackle them.  If your body is stressed, weak or malnourished, your mental health will also be questionable. But if you eat healthily and also engage in the right amount of exercise, blood will flow easily into your brain. This will increases the oxygen in your brain, thereby resulting in a high-focus high-alert mind. 

So, if you want to improve your performance and overall productivity, ensure that you’re fit all the time. 

3. It boosts your confidence level

A healthy body and mind improve confidence. If you’re not fit, every little task tends to appear like an unapproachable work. At that point, you are not the one seeing the tasks, but your weak body and mind will be responsible for discouraging you. Apart from boosting your self-confidence, staying fit increases your self-esteem. It will make you feel good about yourself and believe more in yourself. With a can-do attitude, no task or responsibility will seem too difficult for you. 

Always remember that exercise affects our moods and body image through the secretion of endorphins, which makes us feel good. Some simple exercises, such as aerobics and Tai Chai, can boost mental positivism and self-worth. Also, engaging in regular workouts can positively impact depression, ADHD, anxiety and others. 

4. Mental Sharpness 

Being mentally sharp is one way to be productive. If your brain is not functioning properly, it will be impossible to deliver good results on any job. One way to ensure that your mind is always active and ready to think out solutions is through exercise. When you engage in a workout, it sharpens your mind because the brain creates new neurons through neurogenesis. This process is when the human brains increase the number of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) and lead to the development of new neurons and strengthening of the existing ones. 

5. Staying fit helps in stress management

The jobs we do often leads to stress, especially in a highly-demanding industry. Sometimes, the challenges we face at work can cause depression. If you must avoid these types of conditions while still delivering at your best, you must ensure that your body and mind is fit all the time. Taking out some time every day to engage in a little workout can go a long way to reduce your stress levels. Did you also know that when the body is stressed, your cravings for unhealthy foods rises terribly? This is why you must avoid stress at all levels by eating healthily and exercising regularly. No one can be productive when battling with stress. So, combat stress by engaging in fitness-promoting exercises and a healthy diet. 

6. Ensures better sleep

The results of many studies have shown that deep sleep is a cure to stress, sickness and depression. A healthy body and mind enable you to sleep better. Once you can sleep very well anytime you need it, you’re sure of a productive life. Surprisingly, many people are yet to appreciate the connection between fitness exercises and deep sleep. Exercising your body and eating healthily ensures the stability of sleep patterns, which will, in turn, boost productivity. 

Conclusion

Staying fit entails healthy diet and exercise. That’s why many diet programs also emphasize on the importance of simple exercises alongside your meal plans. So, if you’re still unsure of how to start the fitness journey, we recommend you start with a program like Nutrisystem and stick to it. You can use some shared tips for saving to make the most out of any plan you choose. 

The post 6 Ways To Staying Fit Could Increase Productivity appeared first on MoneyMiniBlog.

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On the face of it, buying a rental property may seem like a good idea. There are both pros and cons to becoming a landlord, and many news articlesdiscuss these two sides of the matter. And while there are pitfalls to being a landlord, there are plenty of resources online, such as the absolutely crucial tenant screening services, that can come to your aid. 

But most crucial of all is to know if the property you want will actually calculate out as a good investment. To answer this question, you need to know how to assess the true cost and return of a prospective property. Read on for the way to calculate your return on your investment.

What matters in a rental property investment?

The rate of return on rental properties ultimately derives from five factors. These are cash flow, amount of equity, tax advantages, any leverages and the amount of appreciation you can realize over time.

While this may seem complicated, it’s not – and certainly not enough to stand in the way of pursuing property that can generate rental income. To make the process more manageable, we’ll break it down so you can see how simple it really is. You’ll be able to see how seasoned investors consider potential projects.

Of the five elements contributing to the property’s value, three of them are not crucial to the purchase of a potential property. Appreciation, tax advantages and leverage are not things that experienced investors focus on when considering a potential rental property. 

The two aspects of a potential purchase that they scrutinize are the combined values of cash flow and equity build-up. It’s as simple as that: cash flow and equity build-up.

Those two aspects of any potential rental property are what successful investors look at when deciding if a property is worth buying as a rental property. Thankfully, these are easy to calculate. Also, investors know that they can easily predict results that they can depend on after the purchase. 

Breaking down the Equation

 Cash on Cash

To describe the rate of return a potential property has in the rental market, industry professionals call it “Cash on Cash”. This is a phrase that everyone who invests in rental properties learns to love because it represents income.

To determine the cash-on-cash return rate, divide the incoming cash, before taxes, with the amount of money you’ve put into the property. This takes into consideration all of the cash going into the property as well as expenses.

“Cash flow before taxes” is commonly abbreviated “CFBT” in industry lingo. Now we can build out the equation even further.

Cash on Cash = CFBT divided by (the down payment + total cost of acquisition)

This equation lays everything out so that it makes sense. However, even with this information in hand, many people are still a little muddled when it comes to understanding the true cost of purchasing rental property. A down payment will be required to purchase a piece of property. Also, mortgages aren’t free. They have costs associated with them. To make the best decision for your current financial situation, any property purchase much be viewed in the same way that you would view making a cash purchase. The bottom line is the overall amount that you will have to pay and how it potentially impacts your portfolio. 

Equity Build-Up

Equity builds up as the direct result of the amortization process. The process of regularly paying the mortgage means that the amount going to interest will decrease. Over time, this means that more of each month’s payment will go towards paying down the amount of the loan principal. Each month, as a portion of the principal is repaid, your equity in the property grows.

By determining the Cash on Cash and the equity build up, investors are able to determine the potential each building has as a rental property. Combining these two values produces the net yield for a property.

Working it in real life

Let’s now calculate the figures for a hypothetical example. 

Total Purchase Cost

If the purchase price is $125,000, let’s plan on making 20% down-payment of $25,000. Additional costs of acquisition will be around $3,500 for closing and loan origination costs. So the total purchase cost to you is $28,500.

Mortgage

To finance the project, a $100,000 loan will be needed. Using a mortgage calculator, we can estimate that with an interest rate of 5% and repayment over thirty years, the mortgage payments will be $568 per month.

Gross Cash Flow

Given the neighborhood and the property, a standard monthly rental rate looks like $1,250. This produces a gross annual income of $15,000. You’ll need to adjust for vacancies. We set that at 5% or $750. This leaves a gross operating income of $15,250 annually. 

Expenses

Whether you like it or not, property taxes will have to be paid ($3,000) and insurance premiums covered ($1,200). Factor in the cost for repairs each year ($1,200).

Totaling everything up gives you $5,400 in operating expenses for the year. You’ll pay $6,814 on the mortgage each year.  You’ll have $15,000 in gross income. Simple arithmetic of the gross income minus the two expenses then gives a Cash Flow Before Taxes (CFBT) of $2,037.

Cash on Cash= CFBT divided by (the down payment + total cost of acquisition) = $2,037/$28,500 = 7.15%

Equity build-upduring the first year is the amount of principal paid divided by the total acquisition cost to you. A mortgage calculator shows a principal payment o f $1,478 in the first year, and this divided by your total acquisition cost of $28,500 results in a 5% equity build in the first year. This increases each year, but investors use that first year as the determining factor.

With the Cash on Cash at 7.15%, and the Equity Build-up at 5%, this results in a Total Yieldof 12.15%.

Clearly, with a yield of around 12%, this is a better return for an investor than other vehicles such as bonds or CDs. Many investors are also more comfortable investing in real estate, which is less volatile than the stock market. 

So congratulations! Now you know how to become a landlord. Now take the time to study how to be a wise landlord – don’t blow that investment with higher costs from bad tenants. Stay smart, and keep that cash flow positive.

The post How to Choose a Good Rental Investment Property appeared first on MoneyMiniBlog.

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College life can be extremely challenging from the financial standpoint, especially if you had to take out a student loan to afford your chosen education. With return payments and the costs of living day to day, job hunting becomes a must for many students. However, with classes and all, even part-timing can seem impossibly sometimes. So today we bring you a few handy ideas on how to earn some money in college without having to waste time and nerves on commuting.

Become a Freelance Writer

This line of work has been steadily booming among the college students’ population, because it is arguably the most accessible student-friendly career path out there, even if you only want to do it temporarily.

If you decide to pursue this gateway into the workforce, your biggest boon will be multilingualism. Even if you only speak two languages, it gives you a considerable edge. Because English is the lingua franca of the twenty first century, the sheer number of people who offer writing services in English has skyrocketed over the recent years.

What this means for you is, no matter how well you write, you will automatically be less competitive in any niche. Instead, look for writing gigs in your second or third language. The less commonly spoken it is, the more valuable your ability becomes.

Also, keep in mind that “niche” can take on a whole different meaning in freelance writing. Rather than a category of topics, like pet care or travel news, it is increasingly denoting a particular skill – for example, academic writing, copywriting, SEO-centered writing, literary editing, and so on. So be very careful when someone asks you what “niche” you want to write in.

Become a Blogger

This is related to the previous idea, but more aimed towards people who would rather be their own bosses than bother with somebody else’s tasks. If you enjoy writing and want to make cash form it but are not too keen on fulfilling random strangers’ orders, try starting a blog of your own.

Blogging is regarded as passive income, meaning that the earnings come without you doing much once your content is live. Revenue is typically generated form advertisements, when people come onto your pages to read your blogs, so the more visitors you get the more money that will earn you. Check out this useful guide for some tips on how to start making money from your blog.

You can also use your blogging to make money via affiliate marketing. Choose a product or service that you would like to support and post links to their websites on your won pages. Whenever someone visits these vendors via your links and makes a purchase with them, you get a percentage of the income for having “mediated” a new customer for them.

Start Your Own Dropshipping Business

This is a little bit ironically made, because you never actually drop off anything, you are not the one doing the shipping. The idea is that you serve a s a salesperson for some product or service offered by a third party. When you successfully make a sale of that service or product, the actual provider ships it over to the end customer directly.

Your profit here is a matter of basic arithmetic: the original provider, aka drop shipper, will charge you something for what they do. On the other hand, you will charge the end customer something for the thing that you are selling. Deduct the one from the other and that will be the amount of money you get from each venture.

Proofread for Profit

If you feel like you would not really make a good writer, why not capitalize on other people’s orthographic hiccups? Even the most perfectionist fellow in your cohort is bound to occasionally mess up their grammar, spelling, or punctuation, especially if they had been pulling all-nighters. Just consider the still controversial Oxford comma. Even worse, if you happen to deal with international literature, consider the evil phenomenon of the Crnjanski/ Tserniansky comma!

The point is, even if people write just fine, they will always be too paranoid to skip a proper check, and you can get them to pay you for it. There is no need to worry that automatic spellcheckers will leave you out of a job, either, because they are still nowhere near as good as we need them to be, and human eyes are still indispensable.

Take Up Transcription

Unlike freelance writing, this kind of work would be best done in your mother tongue (with the obvious exception of bilingual people). As long as you type fast enough, you can earn some pretty decent wages this way, and you are free to set your own rates for different kinds of work. Transcribing is charged by the hour, since various content would obviously require varying amounts of time to process.

Transcribing is essentially just writing down whatever you hear, but as to what exactly that audio content might be, that would depend heavily on your clients and whatever trends affect their line of business. There are more ideas here, but you can always just…

Most likely, you would get all kinds of topics thrown at you, therefore you need to have insanely broad general vocabulary, very good comprehension of culture-specific or industry-specific words and expressions, and above all, exceptional skill in active listening.

Become an Online Tutor

Okay, very few college students want to go on and become formal educators, but this is a good way to snag some cash on the side, and choice #1 for many people due to its convenience.

Online tutoring can be charged by hour or by session and is fairly flexible: you can teach individuals or groups, real-time or sequentially, and range your communication from IM, through calls, to proper video chat.

Simply pick a subject you excel in, set yourself up on Skype or a similar platform, and start charging people for explanations.

The post How to Earn Money From Home as a College Student appeared first on MoneyMiniBlog.

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Today, it is quite easy to get lost in all your daily chores and duties, especially if you’re an entrepreneur or someone that works a couple of jobs simultaneously. After coping with a lot of procrastinating, stress, meeting deadlines and so on, a lot of people decided to seek advice in how to optimize their time and focus in order to stay productive and stop wasting their time.

Apart from regular tips such as “Don’t multitask, do one thing at a time instead” or “Avoid any distractions in your environment, including your smartphone”, there seems to be an important connection between your work performance and your sleep. When you sleep the right way, it is much easier to complete your daily tasks and stay active and energized until the late evening. Unfortunately, stats show that people are becoming more and more sleep deprived (even teenagers often show symptoms of sleep deprivation) and are often experiencing sleeping issues.

Let’s take a look to understand what are the ways sleep could be ruining your productivity and, therefore, affecting your overall work performance and time management.

1. You Are Sleeping Too Little

Sleep deprivation is the number one reason of poor productivity and decreased creativity. You probably know how everything just takes double the time when you feel exhausted.

However, this feeling doesn’t simply mean you don’t have enough energy. When our brain doesn’t go through the necessary sleep cycles at night, it can’t recover properly and perform its more complex functions accurately enough. For instance, multitasking, cognitive and problem-solving skills all decline after a night of lost sleep.

In addition, our brains need to sleep in order to memorize learned facts. So if you lack sleep, it will be much harder for you to recall information that you have previously read. Research has also shown that our decision making is also compromised by the fact that it’s harder for us to tell the difference between good and bad ideas.

Needless to say, all these things make you become less efficient which inevitably wastes your time (especially in the long run).

2. You Are Sleeping Too Much

It’s very logical that sleeping more than you should equals losing a couple of hours of wakefulness every day or, simply put, wasting your precious time. Typically, most people suffer from lack of sleep or insomnia, but some may have an ongoing issue of hypersomnia – A.K.A. sleeping too much, multiple times a day.

Although this is really rare, if you can’t stay awake during the day even though you’ve been consistent with your good sleeping habits lately, you might have to talk to a sleep specialist. This condition makes you less functional throughout the day.

However, if you’re simply oversleeping every day, without the urge to nap multiple times a day, you could still be dealing with decreased productivity levels and be feeling slowed down in all your daily activities. When you sleep too much, your body and brain aren’t synced with your normal circadian rhythm, which basically makes your sleep insufficiently effective.

Your body might not be resting and recovering properly, and your mind might be less clear and lazier than usual. Stick to the rule of sleeping from 6 to a maximum of 9 hours and you should feel the difference.

3. You Are Not Getting The Right Kind Of Sleep

Believe it or not, but some strange things that you’re not noticing about your sleep could be making you sleep deprived and lead to a poorer everyday productivity. For instance, snoring at night could make you feel tired in the morning, and lead to overall slower brain performance. The same could happen to someone who shares their bed with a snorer because the snoring noise could be making them lose sleep.

There are plenty of ways to stop snoring or at least decrease snoring at night that you should try if you’re dealing with it.

However, that’s not all. Being allergic could also lead to poorer sleep quality. If you’re struggling with maintaining your focus high and your performance at peak, check if you have any newly developed allergies that might be making you wake up tired each morning.

To sum it up, basically, all sleep issues are strongly affecting your cognitive skills, response speed as well as problem-solving abilities. So if you’ve been struggling with doing everything properly and on time, check if you’re sleeping right first.

Follow these rules in order to make sure sleep is not affecting your time management:

  1. Go to bed at the same time every night (ideally before midnight)
  2. Get exercise
  3. Remove all potential distractions from your bedroom
  4. Avoid looking at screens (smartphones, computers, TV) before going to bed
  5. Don’t eat too late or too heavy for dinner

For more info or tips on how to sleep better and boost your performance (and, therefore, optimize your daily organization) check out this useful infographic by Colossal sleep!

Infographic: Colossal Sleep

About the Author:
Kristina Lalovic is the editor at Colossal Sleep, a website about healthy sleep, sleeping disorders and sleep-related problems people commonly face in their lifetimes. She used to be the alarm-snoozer for a long time, until she started paying more attention to her sleep and sleeping patterns. Sleeping well changed the way she feels each day, which is why she developed a passion for writing about sleep and understanding how our sleep really works.

The post 6 Ways Sleep is Killing Your Productivity (And Wasting Your Time) appeared first on MoneyMiniBlog.

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