Personal Budget – 7 Guidelines That Will Help You Plan a Working Budget

Setting up your personal budget requires a hands-on approach. The following guidelines will help you plan a working budget to undertake this journey.

1. Gather all your financial details. That will include all of your bank accounts, credit cards and insurances papers – anything to do with your personal finances. These details will be needed to start your budget.

2. List all sources of income. This includes salary, rental income and regular dividends and interest.

3. Categorise your expenses starting with your commitments – list each item under headings such as:

  • Home: mortgage or rent.
  • Association and professional fees.
  • Insurance: health, motor vehicle, home, contents and life
  • Education costs
  • Day care and child care
  • Loans: car loan, student loan, bank fees and interest
  • Land tax or rates.
  • Other payments required as a commitment: motor vehicle licensing.
  • Investment – yes commit to your future and pay yourself!

4. List necessities – again list each item under headings:

  • Food, groceries, gas (petrol), home maintenance, security.
  • Utilities: gas, water, electricity, rubbish disposal, phone costs
  • School lunches, household supplies, car maintenance, internet service, dry cleaning, monthly parking.

5. Other expenses. Personal everyday expenses covering: lunch at work, snacks, coffee, drinks, newspapers, magazines, batteries, postage. Family and personal allowances: parties, entertainment, weekend outings, movies, concerts, other entertainment and events, home improvements and decorating, magazine and other subscriptions, dining out and fast food. Also include: clothing, hobbies, personal recreation, books, CD’s, manicures, hair care, alterations, shoe repair, personal and family gifts, gardening, film processing, video rentals, sports and gym, donations, computer software and other related items.

6. Once you have all your expenses listed add the total expenses and deduct these from your income. You will need to convert everything to monthly or weekly. This means that bills that are paid once a year must be divided by 12 to get the monthly figure. Convert quarterly payments to an annual figure then convert this to monthly. It is important that you include bills that are paid other than monthly to ensure that the money is available when the bill is due. Place the money in an interest bearing account.

7. Do you need to tweak your budget? When you deducted the expenses from your income was there any money left or did you find your expenses were more than your income? If your situation is the latter you will need to do some tweaking. The commitments cannot change. As for necessities you may be able to cut down on food expenses and find cheaper providers of utilities or try to save costs by being conscious of switching off lights etc. But it is the other expenses category that has the most capacity for tweaking as many of them are not needed and can be reduced or cut out. Review your budget regularly to make sure it is still working for you.

The time to start a personal budget is now and these guidelines are designed to make sure that your budget is truly a working budget — one that works for you!



Source by Lyn Bell

What Are The Options For Credit Card Debt Relief?

Great responsibility comes with having a credit card but the number of people who now have credit card debts is at an all time high; cards have become easier to obtain and more tempting to use, which is a lethal combination. With the debts rising, it is not surprising that individuals have started to realize the financial problem they have created by the constant and indiscriminate spending they have carried out. Once you have finally realized the mess you are in then it only remains to do something about it by sourcing some credit card debt relief.

The first step is to stop using the cards altogether as continued use will just compound the problem and make it harder to resolve. As soon as the spending has terminated it will be easier to find a source of credit card debt relief for the user. There are various debt consolidation alternatives available but the three most common options are detailed below.

Obviously, the easiest way to proceed is to apply for a credit card with a low interest rate on balance transfers where the debt can be consolidated where repayments can be made regularly within a specified budget. Consolidation loans are becoming popular as all the debts can be replaced with just one amount which should be considerably easier to pay on a regular basis.

The only problem here is that the debtor must be determined enough to stick to the plan they have made until the end. Debt consolidation does require that the debtor is still able to access credit and that they will have sufficient funds to repay the loan.

If this avenue of credit card debt relief is not available then the next option is to look towards negotiation with the card issuer directly or through a company that specializes in debt relief. Normally, when these negotiations proceed approximately half the debt will need to be paid and the reminder to be written off by the creditors.

Bankruptcy should always be viewed as a last resort when all other options have been tried as there are serious consequences to this course of action. This is the last resort for a debtor because once they declare bankruptcy, their credit standing fails and it will be difficult to get further loans; however, the positive aspect of filing for bankruptcy is it enables a fresh start. However you have found yourself in this situation, do not allow credit card debt relief to become a habit.



Source by Steven Yeoh

Beware of Car Insurance Cancellation

Insurance failure is a dreaded experience and if you are doing the right things as a driver you will not get one. Some people do receive the notice that they have been officially dropped by their insurance company and many have to scramble to get additional insurance after a cancellation. Cheap auto insurance rates are usually hard to come by after a cancellation. Knowing the main reasons for auto insurance cancellation can help drivers prevent losing one of the most important privileges available to us all … the ability to drive safely.

There is usually a process for cancellation of car insurance. It usually never happens out of the blue and most people who are canceled know why. Basically the car insurance company will send the policyholder or driver an official letter via postal mail stating the car insurance policy is subject to cancellation effective a particular date. Insurance companies are legally required to notify an individual of cancellation of a policy in ample sufficient time for the policyholder to take action in regards to the letter. The letter will also offer an explanation for the cancellation. The canceled driver has the opportunity to contact their insurance company to resolve the issue if this is possible. Depending on the reason for cancellation a resolution may not be possible and the driver will have to find replacement car insurance before the policy cancellation date. Your insurance company may contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to advise of your insurance cancellation. Failure to obtain insurance can result in additional problems with your state DMV as some states charge uninsured drivers for each day they are uninsured.

There are a couple of reasons for forced car insurance cancellation. One reason is risky driving behavior. If you are suspected of multiple moving violations, involved in repeated accidents or are under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving your policy will be canceled. Car insurance companies are in the business of taking risks but they will not tolerate a driver placing him or herself, other people and the insurance company at risk because of jeopardous behavior. Insurance fraud is also a reason for insurance cancellation. Some drivers cause accidents repeated to collect the monetary benefits for injury and damage. Repeated claims of this sort are an indicator that the driver is not using his or her insurance responsibly and then the policy is canceled. A final reason for insurance cancellation is the failure to pay on time. If you do not pay your insurance timely it will be canceled. Insurance companies will not provide coverage if the premium is not paid. You can have your insurance reinstated if you are willing to pay any back insurance charges and current charges at once. The ability to do this however is determined by the insurance company.

It is in the best interest of every driver to avoid actions that will cause cancellation of their auto insurance.



Source by Melanie Ullman

When the Illegal Immigrant Has a License and Auto Insurance

Of late, there’s been so much focus on the illegal immigrant in the media that we in the insurance industry have decided to have our say, as well.

Here goes.

Of all the fifty US states, there are only twelve that give driving privileges to the undocumented immigrant. In the other states, any undocumented immigrant that drives does so without having been issued a license. Without a license, you can bet your bottom dollar that there is no auto insurance to cover an accident. If a legal driver is the not at fault party of a collision, not only will there be no coverage to pay for damages from the other party, but it’s likely there will be no out-of-pocket money to speak of in compensation as well.

Good reason to invest in uninsured motorist of underinsured motorist insurance, huh?!

In any case, the danger involved in illegal immigrant driving has prompted the few states that do offer some form of driving licenses to the undocumented to actually expand the eligibility. With the invitation from CA, CO, DE, DC, HI, MD, NV, NM, UT, WA and VT to apply for a driving license, the undocumented immigrant who passes the written and driving test has better odds of safe driving and can actually purchase protective auto insurance coverage.

This means of course that in the event of a vehicular accident, the illegal immigrant that lives and drives in one of the areas where the privilege is open to him or her can have the shielding insurance to cover damages.

But the illegal immigrant who passes the driving test required in order to acquire a legal driving license has other more inclusive options that, like any US citizen, can shield him or her more comprehensively.

These include the options of:

Collision Insurance Coverage – this compensates for the cost of damage incurred to the at-fault driver as well

Comprehensive Insurance Coverage – this provides payment for other losses incurred as a result of a stolen automobile, car vandals, or the damage from a natural disaster

Uninsured/Under-Insured Motorist Insurance Coverage – this provides coverage for damages resulting from an accident with a driver that does not have adequate auto insurance

Irrespective of your standing in regard to residency or citizenship, if you are a legal driver it is wise to seek guidance and advice from a qualified insurance professional in relation to insurance coverage options that are applicable to your individual circumstances.



Source by M Wyzanski

Terms and Conditions of Auto Insurance

Based on the high rate of accidents which happen each year, it is imperative that anyone driving a car whether it is your car or a friend’s car must have an auto insurance policy even if it is the least of all insurance policies available.

An insurance covers the policyholder and in most cases it covers other people who use the car or the driver. However if the car gets into an accident which is not in the interest of the policyholder, or in violation with the agreement between the policyholder and the insurance company, the insurance policy will not cover the damages from such accident.

In instances where the insured vehicle gets sold to another person, the new owner is covered by the third party liability Insurance and also by the comprehensive car insurance policy (if there is any) within a period of 3 weeks after the change of ownership. When there is a new active insurance policy, all deductibles under the insurance will be paid by the new car owner.

Auto insurance does not cover damage to vehicles in company possession for purpose of sale

Depending on the car insurance policy agreement between you and your insurance company, there might not be a need for you to notify them when the terms in the policy agreement changed. The consequence of refusal to notify the insurance might be forfeiture indemnity and compensation if an accident occurs or reduction of the indemnity and compensation or lapses in the payment if indemnity and compensation.

Therefore to avoid the consequences stated above, whenever there is a change in the policy information notify your insurance company immediately.

You can purchase the same auto insurance from two different insurance companies without terminating the initial insurance with the first company but when an accident occurs, the agreement in your car insurance policy will applied, and this may mean that both companies pay half is the cost for the accident each.

Another important thing to note regarding auto insurance is the deductibles which are based on the agreement in the auto insurance policy. Deductibles are deducted only once in cases of an insurance event involving both third party liability and damages under the comprehensive auto insurance.

No deductible will apply in situations such as:

1. Damages from a known liable tortfeasor

2. Damages from fire, explosion, lightening or theft

3. Damages from items falling on the car.

Furthermore, there will be additional deductible if there is driving damage to the car by another person other than the policyholder, or any registered user of the three car under the auto insurance policy.

There are certain accidents which your auto insurance policy may not cover. Under the liability insurance, your auto inside policy does not cover;

1. Injury to the driver

2. Damage from the carriage of goods by road under the acts of contract

3. Damage to attached vehicle

4. Damage which occurred at the time the vehicle was rented out unless it can be proved that the damage is as a result of occurrence which is in accordance with the auto insurance policy

5. Damage to items belonging to the driver, policyholder, anyone stated in the auto insurance policy it a regular user.

The following accidents are not covered by the comprehensive auto insurance:

1. Damage resulting from weather conditions

2. Damage car parts during repairs unless it can be proved the damage had occurred during the driving or by fire

3. Damage in the electrician and mechanical parts the vehicle, unless it can be proved the damage occurred in accordance with the auto insurance policy

4. Damage resulting from reckless driving i.e. Overheating or no change of oil

5. Damage which occurred while the car was rented out

6. Damage which occurred from intoxication of the driver

7. Damage caused intentionally by grid negligence

8. Loss of the car due to seizure of the car by law enforcement authority

9. Damage under warranty and guarantee

10. Damage from usage of the car such as wear and tear, scratches on the car body and so on.

Duration of the auto insurance policy is based on the agreement between you and the insurance company. Most auto insurance agreement are annual and are renewed yearly unless it’s canceled in writing by the policyholder or the insurance company with a month’s notice.



Source by Mike Heuer