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Freelancers: Should You Incorporate?

So, you want to hop aboard the Gig Economy train and make some extra dough — or maybe earn a lucrative living — as a freelancer, do you? Well, before you start cashing the checks, you should step back and decide if you should incorporate your business. To help you make this important decision, here are some things to keep in mind: 

Personal Asset Protection

The chief benefit of incorporating is that if your business is held accountable for losses, debts, negligence or wrongdoing, then your personal assets are (with some exceptions) shielded from creditors and legal judgements. For example, if you are a freelance wedding planner and due to your negligence the bride and groom experience a fiasco instead of festivities, then your personal wealth or property may be at risk if the matter heads to court and you come out on the wrong side of a lawsuit. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that this protection is not absolute. You can (and probably) will get sued and be found personally liable if, through your business operations, you: personally and directly injure someone, do something deliberately fraudulent or illegal, fail to deposit taxes that you withhold from employee wages, personally guarantee a bank loan or debt on which your business defaults, or treat your business as an extension of your personal affairs. 

More Tax Options

Incorporating also allows you to decide whether you want your business to be taxed as a corporation, a partnership (multi-member LLC), or a sole proprietorship (single-member LLC). This may (and likely will) reduce your overall tax obligation, plus in the case of incorporation, you will be able to separate your personal tax return from your business tax return. For example, if you are a car restoration wizard, then all of your expenses related to the cost of restoring a car (e.g. parts, equipment, shipping, etc.) would be captured in your business tax returns, and not your personal tax return.   

More Perceived Credibility

Some customers feel more comfortable working with an incorporated business than an unincorporated one. Frankly, this distinction is not necessarily the case in reality: there are good incorporated businesses and bad ones, just as there are good unincorporated businesses and bad ones. However, perceptions make a difference, and you may find that your pitches and proposals get more traction if there is an “LLC” “Inc.” or “Corp.” after your business name.

Raising Capital

When you incorporate, your business becomes a separate entity that is separate from your personal profile. This can make it significantly easier for you to get bank loans. Plus, you will be able to sell equity in your business to investors.  

Drawbacks of Incorporating

Based on the above, incorporating your freelance operation seems like a no brainer, right? Well, not quite. There are some drawbacks to consider as well, including:

  • Incorporating a business is time consuming, and there are setup and filing expenses.
  • You will have to file (or more likely pay an accountant to file) two tax returns each year: one for you personally, and one for your business. 
  • There is a significantly greater paperwork burden for incorporated businesses. For example, you need to keep detailed books, create reports, maintain a share register, and so on. Many freelancers outsource this to a qualified bookkeeper or accountant, which is certainly more efficient, but obviously comes at a cost.
  • Protection from personal liability is not absolute (as described above). 

The Bottom Line

So, should you incorporate or not incorporate? Generally, most experts say that it’s wise to incorporate, provided that there is enough activity to justify the extra cost and administrative burden. Your best move is to speak with qualified business experts who do not have a vested financial interest in whether you incorporate or not. It’s an important decision, and one that you shouldn’t rush into, or make based on flawed assumptions or inaccurate information.  

3 Reasons Why People Pursue Debt Settlement

Debt is easy to rack up, but far more difficult to pay down. According to a recent survey, more than two out of every five Americans carrying debt don’t know when they’ll pay it off — and one in four Americans believe their debts will outlast them.

Debt settlement is one strategy Americans with unsecured debts — that is, debts untethered to physical assets like a home or vehicle — can consider. This tactic aims to use negotiations with creditors to reduce the actual principal amount of debt owed. When it works, people may find they’re able to zero out debts for hundreds or thousands of dollars less than their starting balance.

Here are three reasons why some people pursue settlement in the face of significant debt.

Do-It-Yourself Debt Repayment Isn’t Working

Oftentimes the issue people encounter is that the interest on their debts just keeps growing, even if they’re making the minimum payments or a little more each month. After a while, trying to repay debts in this fashion can feel like running on a treadmill; instead of getting ahead, you’re running out of breath while staying in place.

While do-it-yourself debt repayment works for some, budgeting and prioritizing debts on your own is not always enough to make a real difference. If you’ve made little progress toward paying down your debts over the years, despite trying very hard to do so, it may be time to explore alternatives like settlement.

There’s a Hardship Involved

It’s nearly impossible to predict what life will throw at you before it happens — and many of these unexpected life events come with a price tag. Some people seek debt settlement because a specific hardship commands a big portion of their extra income. At the end of the month, there’s little to nothing to throw at debts.

Reading through Freedom Debt Relief reviews, you’ll notice enrollees have cited a variety of different reasons for deciding to enter the program. One participant noted that she decided to try settlement after experiencing a stroke. Another cited living with disabilities as a contributing factor to the credit card debt he’d built up. Yet another enrollee stated he had no idea what to do after losing his job, which spurred his decision to try settling.

As you can see, hardships come in many forms: medical expenses, job loss, death in the family and many more. Experiences like these can affect us physically, emotionally and mentally, while also decimating our finances. So, some people choose debt settlement in the wake of challenges that contribute to financial strain.

Bankruptcy Is a Last Resort

Have you ever seen bankruptcy portrayed as a relatively painless way to get a clean slate? This is an oversimplification of a complex process with lots of consequences to consider. It’s important to remember that there’s no such thing as a “get out of debt free” card. Bankruptcy is really more of a last resort, one worth weighing carefully before proceeding.

The exact consequences of bankruptcy will depend on whether someone files for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. The former is more extreme, may require liquidation of some or all assets and stays on a credit report for a decade. The latter involves a repayment plan, may allow consumers to keep most or all of their assets and stays on a credit report for seven years.

If you’re considering bankruptcy, do yourself a favor and explore other options first. Some people end up going with settlement because it tends to be less disruptive.

People end up pursuing debt settlement for a variety of reasons: as an alternative to bankruptcy, as a solution to debt generated by a hardship and as a more aggressive approach when do-it-yourself debt elimination isn’t doing enough.

Looking to set up your budget? Here are some tips!

Creating a budget doesn’t have to be difficult. Sticking to your budget may be a challenge, but it is important to understand if you want to manage your money.  In order to gain control of your spending, you may want to consider the following:

Determine income

Calculate the amount you take home monthly after taxes. Be sure to include your expected salary in addition to any other income sources, like interest and child support. This will be the basis of your budget.

Calculate expenses

To make saving easier, we recommend that you look into how you are spending your money. Be sure to track your expenses! From monthly living costs, to your morning coffee run, account for everything you spend money on. By recording what you spend in a month, you will be able to create the most realistic budget for your lifestyle.

Consider your debt

If you carry credit card balances or have student loans, considering this as part of your monthly budget will help you pay them off faster. The sooner you pay those balances off, the less interest you will have to pay. Be sure you aren’t spending more than you are making, to prevent going further into debt.

Set saving goals

Think about what you want to achieve with your money. Whether you are saving for a vacation, or to purchase a new house… keep your goals realistic in order to stay within your budget. First, you should make sure you aren’t overspending and note if you have money left over after your monthly expenses. After you get a clear picture of where your money is being spent each month, see where you are able to cut spending. Having a clear vision of your goals can ease any financial stress you may have.

Track progress

 To stay on track with your budget, don’t forget to record all of your expenses and income. There is no right or wrong way to record your budget. Some good options may include using a budgeting app, making a spreadsheet, or a classic paper and pencil – they all work fine. The key is making sure you stay up-to-date with your information.

50/20/30 rule

If you are having a hard time setting your budget and staying on track, try thinking about it through the 50/20/30 rule. The idea here is to divide your after-tax income like this: 

  • 50% for necessities
  • 30% for non-essentials, and…
  • 20% for savings and investments. 

If you find that you need to spend more on necessities, simply cut spending on things you want but don’t need. 

If you push yourself to stick to your budget, you may find success in reaching your financial goals. However, don’t be too hard on yourself if the occasional ‘slip up’ happens. Just be sure to get back on the right track as soon as you can.  As you continue to work on your budget, make adjustments as needed. Life happens and factors may change, but keeping your budget in line with your goals is a step towards ongoing personal success.

This is a sponsored post. This content was created and paid for by Blaze Mastercard.

How To Improve The Saleability Of Your Home

There are many reasons why you might make the decision to sell your house. Maybe you’ve decided it’s time to move on, or maybe you’re looking to upgrade. Perhaps a bereavement means you no longer want to live in your home, or you’re selling the home of a recently lost loved one. Whatever the reason, unfortunately, you’ll have to deal with the moment-to-moment minutiae of actually selling the building, and this can be quite an arduous process.

It’s a sad fact that you might run into some difficulty when you’re selling your home. There could be a number of reasons for this. From the location (which you can’t help) to how the interior looks (which you can to a certain extent), there will be some factors you’re in control of and some you’re simply not. All you can do is help the things you can change and accept what you can’t. Here’s how you can improve the saleability of your home.

Work on the garden

Believe it or not, the garden is an important factor when people are deciding whether or not to buy your home. You need to make sure that your front and back gardens are looking great because they’re going to leave a lasting impression on people who are looking around the property. There are lots of ways you can achieve this. From low maintenance composite decking to good quality DIY landscaping, you can find plenty of ways to make your garden sing when prospective buyers come around.

Change your colour scheme 

Dark, dingy colour schemes aren’t a great way to sell a home. Done right, they can be beautiful visual complements to good-quality furniture and give an antique look, but done wrong they can make a room look smaller and less inviting than it actually is. When you’re selling your home, consider bright, attractive colours. Don’t go too crazy – bright green might not be the best idea – but a soft magnolia or light purple would go a long way towards making the home look appealing.

Display some art or prints

When people are viewing your home with an eye to buying it, they’re going to be looking for eye-catching features and inspiring home decor ideas. Art not only makes your home look more attractive, but it also makes the place look more human. If you were buying a home, you’d like to imagine that it was somewhere actual people could live rather than a robotic-looking show home. Just don’t display pictures of your family while you’re selling the home, as this could be a touch too personal.

Clean the place from top to bottom

It might sound obvious, but one of the reasons your home isn’t selling could be that you’re not cleaning it regularly. Prospective buyers like to see a home at its cleanest because that represents the property at its best. Some tasks should be done every day, while others can safely be completed less regularly. If your house is dirty, it’ll make people think there’s a reason you don’t maintain it often, and it also just doesn’t look great. Make sure it’s clean and you’ll increase the saleability massively.

Paint your home

A fresh coat of paint can work wonders for a home. Just by painting the house, you’re taking years of wear and tear and usage out of it. There could be hundreds of marks, stains, and other things that are reducing the saleability of your home, and painting the walls will get rid of all of these and make the place feel like new again. There is a method to this, so make sure you’re doing it right. You’d be amazed by how easy it is for newcomers to spot a bad coat of paint.

Consider your furniture arrangement

It might not seem like it’s worth the expense, but tatty, old, or moth-eaten furniture definitely won’t be improving your home’s value. If you’re going to sell, you want to make sure you’ve got the right balance of furniture displayed. Too much and you’ll make people feel intimidated. Not enough and your home will feel stark and unloved. You need just enough furniture to make it feel like a real home while also getting rid of your more “well-loved” pieces.

Make sure there’s enough light

Just like a dark colour scheme, if there isn’t enough light in a room then it can seriously affect not only your mood but also the mood of prospective buyers. Getting enough light into a room is crucial if you want to give your home a feeling of welcoming invitation. All you need to do is make sure your windows aren’t covered, and if they are, then ensure your curtains aren’t too dark. This is also true of whatever new home you move into – make sure the light sources aren’t obscured.

Upsell your area

If you ever accompany estate agents when you’re selling the property, then you need to make sure you give the prospective buyer the positive points of the area in which your property finds itself. Talk about local landmarks, the sense of community in your area, and the ease with which you can reach the town centre (if you’re not already living there, of course). If you don’t accompany your estate agent on viewings, then instruct them on how to talk up your property. If they’re good, they should already know.

4 Tips to Hit the Ground Running at Work After a Vacation

In general, Americans don’t take many vacation days. On average, European professionals receive about double the amount of holiday time that Americans enjoy. Given that fact, it’s no wonder that when Americans do get time off –– they feel pressured to make the most of it. Unfortunately, this often means that modern workers return from their time off feeling more drained of energy than when they left! If you’ve ever suffered from a post-vacation hangover, then this blog is for you. Here are four tips you can use to hit the ground running at work after a few weeks off.

Start & End Vacations Midweek

Though it may seem logistically tempting to start a vacation on a Monday and to end it on a weekend, it actually makes more sense to start and end vacations during the middle of the week. By leaving on Tuesday or Wednesday, professionals can give themselves one last chance to address any issues that may have arisen over the weekend. And by coming back midweek, they cushion the blow by shortening their first post-vacation week.

Schedule a Personal Day Before Your Return

While it may be tempting to try and cram in as much travel in a two-week span as possible, it’s always wise to schedule at least one day at home after a trip before you return to work. Having this day to yourself will enable you to overcome any jet lag, normalize your sleep schedule, and catch up on chores like laundry or grocery shopping.  

Collaborate with Your Team in Advance

A busman’s holiday spent on your phone or laptop working remotely defeats the purpose of “getting away” in the first place. Obviously, some work emergencies can’t be planned for. Still, it’s a wise idea to collaborate with your coworkers in the run-up to a scheduled holiday. This way, they can ask questions about your projects and learn how to fix problems on their own when you go away.

Prioritize

Upon your return to work it’s normal to feel overwhelmed by the number of assignments that have piled up on your desk. Don’t stress out over this. Instead, take a breath and prioritize your tasks by their level of importance and time sensitivity. Creating a priority list will allow you to work with peak efficiencyand make meaningful progress right out of the gate.

Conclusion

Whether your job involves developing products like a new coag tube, or you sell insurance for a living, everyone needs quality time off to recharge their batteries. Forgoing vacation days to stay on top of your workload is unwise and may even be unhealthy in the long run. Follow these tips to ensure that you can soak up your vacation and come back stronger for it!

How to Save More Money Every Day

In the age of instant gratification, it can be challenging to force yourself to save for long-term goals. We all want to access the things that we desire right now, not wait five years until we can afford to place a deposit on a house or buy a new car. 

While you might never be able to overcome the impulse to spend from time to time, you can put strategies in place to improve your chances of saving in the long-term. For instance, here are some easy ways that you can improve the amount you save on a daily basis. 

Carry Snacks and Water Wherever you Go

You’d be surprised how much money you spend on things like snacks and drinks when you’re out and about in the world. Even though you’ve got plenty of food waiting for you at home, it’s easy to grab a sandwich when you’re on the road, and you can’t quite wait until you retire for the day to eat again. However, you could be wasting thousands of dollars a year this way. 

Keep some portable snacks with you in your car or in a purse when you’re out of the house, and you’ll save a small fortune. Don’t forget to carry water too, so you can keep yourself hydrated. Often, we overspend on food when we’re just thirsty.

Use More Coupons

Vouchers and coupons aren’t as outdated or old-fashioned as they seem. You’d be surprised how many coupons go un-redeemed these days. People are so rushed that they feel as though they don’t have time to search through newspapers and magazines looking for deals. The good news is that there are quicker ways to get the money-saving opportunities that you need. 

For instance, you can download an app onto your computer browser that automatically tests available coupon codes for you every time you go through to a checkout page online. There are also similar application available for your smartphone too! You could save a fortune without any extra effort at all. 

Don’t Make Luxury Purchases Instantly

Although instant gratification is appealing, it’s not always a good idea to seek out an opportunity to borrow money every time you want to make a big purchase. Though there will be times when a loan from somewhere like HappyPenguin is necessary to help you get the things you need, take some time to think the purchase through first. Take between 2 weeks and 30 days to make every big financial decision – depending on how long you have before an offer runs out. 

If you’ve only got a matter of days, leave it until the last minute to make your decision. Take the time to think on the positives and negatives of spending that money. The chances are that you’ll forget all about unnecessary purchases. 

Have More Nights In

Every month, we all spend a lot of money on looking after our houses. We’re paying for gas, electricity, rent, and other expenses – so why not make the most out of the space you’re paying for? Instead of going out when you want to have fun, invite your friends over and have a night in instead. You can work together to cook a delicious meal, ask people to bring board games or movies, and enjoy the freedom of having all your own creature comforts with you when you need them. 

Having a night in might not sound as exotic as going to a new bar or restaurant, but it can be just as fun, and a lot less expensive too! Give it a try by replacing one night out a month with one night in to begin with. 

Buy More in Bulk

There are some things that you don’t need to buy in bulk. However, if you’re constantly spending a fortune on things like paper towels and laundry detergent every time you go shopping, now might be the perfect time to switch to bulk buying instead. You could save a lot of money this way, particularly if you look for deals online before committing to the purchase. 

When you are buying in bulk, remember not to get caught up with things like brand names either. Most of the time, the store-own solutions are just as good, and they’re a lot less expensive. Try comparing the ingredients on the item you want to buy with those in the next most expensive brand. The chances are they’ll be the same. 

 

How to Network Effectively & Make More Money as a Result

In business, it can sometimes be easy (and tempting) to overlook the human element. Hard skills, data, and statistics are easy to analyze and understand. Human behavior –– on the other hand –– is not. Yet, professionals who understand how to network effectively can use their connections to further their careers, earn raises, and enjoy greater job satisfaction as a result. With that in mind, today we’re going to share five networking tips that will help you build more meaningful business relationships:

Ditch the Script

It’s no surprise that many professionals hate networking. They dislike the pressure of talking to a stranger, and, in order to diffuse that tension, they fall back to what they know. However, regurgitating a well-rehearsed script  isn’t likely to resonate with anyone. Instead of launching into an elevator pitch the next time you encounter another professional, take a breath and engage them in actual conversation.

Listen

Half of networking is listening to what others have to say to you. Again, it’s easy for professionals to develop a one-track mind when it comes to networking. The problem with focusing on a single goal in networking is that it will make you blind (and deaf) to other opportunities that arise in the course of a discussion. Just because someone can’t offer you a job now, doesn’t mean that they don’t have another opportunity they can share with you, for example.

Do Something for Nothing

Decent people don’t forget an act of kindness. If you’re able to help someone out now, they’ll likely remember that and be willing to return the favor down the line. That’s not to say you should only help people who can help you –– generosity is its own reward.

Talk to Anyone & Everyone

You never know when a business contact will come in handy. Given that fact, it’s a good policy to speak with any professional who wants to speak with you. Even dedicating as few as five minutes of your time to speak with a new person can help you develop a network of contacts for the future.

Create Opportunities

The best professionals find ways to create opportunities where most wouldn’t see potential. Companies like Retail Management Solutions, for instance, operate in a niche market with pharmacies. Yet, even businesses that stick to specific niches have universal needs. Contacting professionals in other fields and asking if they require assistance is a great way to get your foot in the door.

Conclusion

Networking may seem like a daunting task, but with a little practice, you too can become a networking pro. Keep these tips handy for advice in the future!

Over Half of U.S. Adults Carry Credit Card Debt—Do You?

It’s official: More than half of Americans with credit cards have debt. A recent survey from CNBC Make It found that 55 percent of credit cardholders report carrying debt. About one-fifth of respondents (22 percent) said they carried an average balance between $100 and $500. But one in ten people said their balance exceeded $5,000, and another 10 percent carry a balance between $2,501 and $5,000.

Beware the Dangers of Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt is especially dangerous to rack up because of its high average annual percentage rate (APR). This is basically the “price tag” on what you’ll pay on any outstanding credit card balance. It’s not uncommon to see credit card interest upwards of 20 percent. 

The other sneaky thing about credit card debt in particular is its revolving nature. This means that until cardholders hit their credit limits, they can keep making purchases—and interest just keeps accumulating on any balance not paid in full every month. It’s also possible to open a new line of credit once you’ve maxed out one card, so the pattern can end up repeating itself over and over.

Credit card debt can become a vicious cycle—one that’s very difficult to extract yourself from without assistance. But the good news is that there are absolutely options for people struggling with credit card debt, and you’re not alone on this journey.

What Can Cardholders Do About Major Debt?

Sick of the stress that accompanies substantial credit card debt? You need a plan.

Balance Transfer

A solid first step to consider is a balance transfer, in which you move your outstanding balance from a high-APR card to a new card with no or low interest. After all, the lower your interest rate, the more of your repayment goes directly toward chipping away at your balance. Just be aware the “honeymoon” introductory period without interest usually ends at some point.

Debt Settlement

If you’re one of the many Americans owing thousands on credit cards without a realistic way to pay it off in a reasonable time frame, settlement is an option to explore. It’s typically an option for people already missing payments or struggling to keep up on minimum payments but who want to avoid filing for bankruptcy if they can.

As one debt settlement enrollee wrote in a Freedom Debt Relief review, “When credit card debts accumulated I felt overwhelmed. Living paycheck to paycheck it was difficult to get by. It felt like the darkness was closing in.” This consumer was able to settle debts for 65 percent of what they originally owed in two to three years after negotiating with creditors, whereas trying to repay debts without settlement “would have taken over 10 years.”

Of course, the tradeoff is that the settlement process can negatively affect your credit score if you stop paying creditors ahead of negotiations. The key is weighing the costs vs. the benefits.

Debt Consolidation

Another option for people struggling to stay on top of payments for multiple lines of credit is to get a debt consolidation loan.

Paying off high-interest credit card debt with a loan can be advantageous in a couple ways: First of all, it saves you from having to keep track of multiple balances with multiple lenders; you’ll only have to make one monthly payment. It can also save you interest in the long run, provided you’re able to qualify for a reasonable loan with favorable repayment terms.

Credit Counseling

Working with a credit counselor can help you create a budget and come up with a plan for tackling your debts. Credit counseling agencies can even enroll you in a debt management plan (DMP) in which you make one monthly payment. Some DMPs even offer enrollees lower interest rates.

Committing to a DMP means making consistent monthly payments for years to come, so make sure you’re able to follow through before signing up. And be sure your counseling agency is reputable, not a scammer hoping to make a quick buck off vulnerable consumers.

You’re certainly not alone in carrying credit card debt, but only you can determine if you’ll get yourself out of it.

How to Make Money without a 9 to 5 Job

Starting a 9 to 5 job isn’t always the best way to earn a decent wage, in fact there are plenty of alternative routes that could work for you instead. It’s all about knowing what you want to do with your life and pursue a career you’re proud of. You may want to quit your full-time gig or pick up some extra cash on the side of your income, whatever it is you need, it’s possible!

Below is a quick ‘how-to’ guide on making money without a 9 to 5 job.

One of the great things about having flexible working hours means you’re able to do more of what you love. That could be anything, especially spending time with your precious children. 

Sell stuff online

Anyone who has a skill or talent should use it to their advantage, selling stuff online can lead to substantial business opportunities, especially for the right person. You could essentially be pocketing an extra £1,000+ a year doing something you love. In 2019, people from all around the world sell their designs and crafts internationally. A true entrepreneur will be able to make big bucks from merely setting up an eBay or Etsy account and getting their name out there. Perhaps you love sewing or have a crafty side, if so, you could turn your hobby into a money-making opportunity that no one can turn down. 

Invest in property or shares

If you’re willing to learn the basics of investing in property and shares, you could potentially earn back higher returns from savings that would otherwise not gain interest. It’s recommended to spread your funds across a wide range of investments so that you don’t lose money. Those who are educated and well-read on the subject will be able to invest their savings into a property or share and gain back profit. If you’re interested in investing in property, then RW Invest may be able to help you. They’re a property investment company that can advise investors on the best locations for buy to let properties as well as places in demand for rentals. Property investment can earn you an income right from the comfort of your own home, which is one of the reasons it’s so popular. 

Become a freelancer

Boost your income even more by taking your skills outside of working hours and becoming a freelancer. Freelancers can be anyone from graphic designers to writers and even animators. There is an endless world of opportunity out there if you freelance. Not only are you able to work from home and earn a good wage, but you’re also saving money by not travelling to a workplace every day. Join a freelancing site such as Upwork or Freelancer to start job searching. After you’ve built up your profile you should be able to charge reasonably high prices for good quality work. 

Take online surveys

Those of you who don’t mind sitting at your computer screen for a while may want to try taking online surveys. There are hundreds of sites available to do this, and it could be the extra income you’ve always dreamed of. While these online surveys don’t pay a lot (most of the time you get between £5 to £10 per survey), if you can do a large number in one day, you can earn more than a full-time job!

7 Costly Mistakes that Many First-time Home Sellers Make

If you’re planning on selling your house, then it goes without saying that you want to ensure the experience is rewarding instead of regrettable — especially since there are hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line, and you don’t get to rewind and do it again it if you make an error.

To help you navigate this major transaction, here are 7 costly mistakes that many first-time home sellers make — but that you can wisely avoid:

  1. Not properly pricing your home.

If the listing price of your home is too low, you’ll leave thousands of dollars on the table. If the price is too high, then your home will remain on the market while comparable homes (“comps”) sell — which makes prospective buyers nervous and reluctant to make an offer.

  1. Spending a lot of money on low-impact renovations.

Obviously, you want to boost your home’s appeal and overall value. But spending $50,000 on a new kitchen or renovating the basement might be a mistake — because you won’t get your money back when you sell. If necessary, focus on relatively low-cost, high-impact renovations that help your home sell quickly and for a competitive price.

  1. Not staging your home.

No, you don’t have to transform your home into a spa-like oasis, like you see in modern medical and dental office design (complete with relaxing panflute music and koi fish pond). But you do need to make sure that your home shows well — both inside and out. That means getting rid of clutter and junk, and making sure that your home’s “curb appeal” is very appealing indeed.

  1. Using the same Realtor to buy and sell your home.

If you choose to use a Realtor (or other real estate professional), then make sure that he or she is not representing both you and a prospective buyer. This creates a conflict of interest. You want a Realtor who is exclusively focused on helping you sell your home for as much money as possible, and within your desired timeframe if possible.

  1. Not disclosing critical information.

You don’t have to tell prospective buyers that the den is where you broke down and started crying like a baby when your favorite team lost in the World Series. But if you know for a fact that there is a family of raccoons living in your attic, or if your home’s foundation is sagging, then you must disclose this and other major issues. Otherwise, you could end up in court and liable for costs plus damages.

  1. Not have a great online profile.

You can assume that every prospective buyer out there — whether they’re a gadget-loving millennial or senior citizen — is going to spend considerable time looking at your property online before they consider attending an open house or booking a private showing. If your profile is sub-standard — e.g. if the photos are blurry, if the video is amateur (or non-existent), and if you don’t showcase the benefits of the neighborhood and local amenities — then your house won’t make anyone’s shortlist.

  1. Being around for the open house.

If you believe that prospective buyers appreciate you being in the next room when they tour your home, then unfortunately you’re wrong. They won’t be able to talk freely or candidly, which isn’t what you want. Besides, hearing them criticize certain things about your house is likely to get your blood boiling, and you don’t need the added stress!

KaratGold Coin (KBC) disrupts the market of blockchain-centered devices with a new phone

What is the biggest problem every blockchain-related business is struggling to solve? The ‘block’ technology is very difficult to understand for the average user. Fancy headlines usually just serve a cover for a complicated and unclear tech filling. Moreover, the media tends to avoid the blockchain topic nowadays as readers are often convinced that anything linked to cryptocurrency is risky. Lack of a credible background or comprehensive infrastructure scares off many potential investors.

Trend leans to transparency and stability of the blockchain-market, but still, few projects can offer a full-cycle ecosystem behind the coin or at least a real utility for their token. This is why KaratGold Coin (KBC) appears to be a truly standalone solution allowing you to securely store and use the coin as a means of payment.

So, a quick rundown: KBC is a token that can be easily converted into real gold bars. The tokens are traded on 12 big blockchain exchanges and can even be used for online shopping, thanks to the K-Merchant trademark solution.

However, all the above would have still been quite impressive, but not the latest news smashed the ground: KBC launches its blockchain-based smartphone in early fall this year. A competitor for Samsung and HTC, the new IMpulse K1 Phone, will improve regular voice/text messages with a peer-to-peer and end-to-end encryption, minimizing any risk of a third-party hacking.

The brand new smartphone also features:

  • A tailor-made blockchainData OS that offers a user-friendly interface with IOS and Android applications available to be installed;
  • Voice Over Blockchain Protocol (VOBP) — full encryption of any user-to-user communication.
  • IPFS platform allowing information to be saved and enciphered through decentralized storage based on blockchain technology;
  • Electronic Warfare Transmitted Location (EWTL) set to protect user privacy related to his/her location. The service uses a special military technology to share and reveal whereabouts;  
  • The Worm Guard technology which creates a protective shield around the user’s private key, so that it cannot be stolen or lost.

And this is not even the half of it: IMpulse K1 allows you to create several fiat and blockchain wallets, set up automatic payments, and use multiple phone numbers without changing SIM cards. Full list of the features and the smartphone specification can be found on the official website. IMpulse K1 is currently available in three models.

KaratGold Project Providing User-Friendly Technology

Today`s cryptographic software features its complexity and purely academic language, thus being so horrifying to use. Despite the growth of popularity of the popular expression “usable crypto,” until now nobody has managed to create a product connecting ease of use with crypto. The KaratGold project has dealt with that challenge and found the right balance between people`s interaction and technical cryptography stuff.

The mission of KaratGold project is the creation and development of a global infrastructure that will become a bridge between conventional and blockchain-based financial systems. The Gold Imperium, KaratGold`s financial ecosystem, is extensively backed by cutting-edge technologies and includes Karatbars GmbH, KaratGold Coin, KaratPay System, KaratCoin Bank, and KaratBit Exchange.

One of Karat’s most prominent products is the secure payment gateway K-Merchant. From now on, retailers and online shops worldwide can use the new crypto payment system for their own purposes. The central element of K-Merchant is the irreversible, booking- and certification-secure logging of the payment by the KaratGold blockchain. All it takes is a simple scan by a smartphone. K-Merchant has pre-built customizable modules for the most popular e-commerce platforms like Magento, Shopify or Prestashop so that your business doesn’t have to waste time on integration.

Everything runs automatically, legally secure and above all quickly: The customer initiates a payment via K-Merchant, the system validates it and the process is completed – irrevocably and without costs. The payments are then credited to the service provider in the twinkling of an eye and irreversibly.

KaratGold is the cryptocurrency that powers the KaratGold global payment system and serves as the vital settlement unit for the operations in KaratPay, KaratCoin Bank, KaratBit, K-Merchant, etc. To put it simply, it`s an asset exchangeable for real gold; so called tokenized gold.

KaratGold Coin, along with its spending app K-Merchant made the process of crypto payments a way more comfortable. First of all, K-Merchant allows online vendors to accept crypto payments with a simple scan, while KaratGold Coins can be easily converted to gold. And the real revolution in crypto payments will begin after 4th July Gold Independence Days since investors will be able to exchange 100 KBC tokens directly to 1g of physical gold and receive it in the form of CashGold at ATMs owned by Karatbars. What’s more, the K-Merchant app contributes to the flexibility of the whole process, since it allows the users who do not want to keep up with physical gold to spend their KBC tokens through the app.

KaratGold payment system is also carefully adapted to the needs of users. For instance, if you own gold through KaratGold, you can spend it as you wish and there is no need to look for a buyer for gold. But if you want to buy more gold or sell it, you can do so with dollars, euros, BTC, ETH as well as with various fiat currencies, without having to go through complex, time-consuming transaction operations. Given the fact that the price of gold can dramatically change within just a few hours, the KaratGold system significantly minimizes the risks both the buyer and the seller regularly take.

To top it all off, the Impulse K1 phone blockchain-driven smartphone, being a part of a large K-Universe ecosystem powered by KaratGoldCoins (KBC) is here to make the transaction process an easy daily routine!

You can find further details on our official website http://k-merchant.com

Top Tips For Improving Invoicing In Your Equipment Rental Management Business

No one likes to spend hours out of their day writing invoices and chasing up clients that haven’t paid yet. This can be incredibly time consuming and it can cause problems further down the line when things haven’t been paid on time. The good news is that there are some ways that you can improve your invoicing process.

Here, we are going to give those in the equipment rental management business some tips on how they can do this. Keep reading if you’d like to find out more about this.

Be Consistent

When you are sending invoices to clients, you need to make sure that you are being consistent. Are you laying out the invoice in the same way each time or are you confusing things by changing the layout? You also need to make sure that you are sending on the invoices at the same time each month if the client is a regular client. This way, they know what to expect and invoices can be paid more effectively.

Use Software

Did you know that the latest equipment rental management software comes with invoicing tools that you can use to improve your billing and make it more flexible? If you’d like to see an example, the software from baseplan is just one of many that offer the best possible tools on the market. Once you start using a new software package like this, you will see just how effective it can be and how the risk of human error is reduced.

Keep A Paper Trail

Another great tip for improving invoicing in your equipment rental management business is to try to keep a paper trail. While you might be using software to create your invoices or billing options, you need to make sure that you have a record of everything that is done. With a paper trail, you can create your invoices more effectively and be sure that everyone is being paid on time both to and from your business. Do what you can, and you’ll notice the difference in no time at all.

Send Reminders

Our final tip for those who want to improve their invoicing process to set up some reminders that go out to your clients when their invoice is due. This can save you a lot of time that would normally be spent chasing up clients and making sure that they are aware of their payments. Reminders are really easy to set up and you should be able to figure it out in no time at all. Make sure to try this out and your clients will be happy enough.

Final Verdict

Improving your invoices is really important if you want to make sure that you are being paid on time and that you are being paid the right amount of money. Make sure to follow all of our tips to help improve the way in which your equipment rental management business or any other business operates in terms of invoices.

6 Tips to Ensure a Productive Business Trip Every Time

Business trips are special. After all, most professionals typically need a very good reason to travel to a location hundreds or thousands of miles away when they can write an email or pick up the phone and contact anyone on the globe within moments without ever leaving their desk. Yet, the reality is that relatively business leaders truly understand how to plan and carry out a successful business trip. Fortunately, today we’re going to share six of our favorite tips to make sure that your next big foray out of the office goes off without a hitch:

A Business Trip is NOT a Vacation

The first key to having a productive business trip is to realize that your time in another city does NOT constitute a vacation. This might seem obvious, but more than 50% Americans get drunk while traveling for work. If your first priority in a new place is to see the sights and enjoy yourself, then consider planning a holiday there –– but don’t go in a professional capacity.

Track Times, Dates, & Addresses

Getting around in an unfamiliar city can be a big challenge. As such, make it a point to keep tabs on all important meeting times, dates, and addresses that you need. Otherwise, you could find yourself scrambling to reach a get-together across town or running late to an important conference.

Maintain Your Routine

Successful people in all walks of life tend to rely on established habits. Indeed, having a solid routine can prepare you for the day and prevent you from losing focus. Do your best to adhere to an exercise schedule or any nighttime rituals that help you clear your mind.

Have a Strong Agenda

As mentioned above, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to jump on a plane and travel thousands of miles to discuss a topic an email could’ve covered sufficiently. With that in mind, it’s imperative for business leaders to set a strong agenda for their trip. Outline what you want to discuss with your client/business partners and do your best to address every concern you (and they) have. The last thing you want to do is to schedule another business trip because the first one was a bust!

Pack the Right Tools for the Job

There are certain essential items that everyone needs on a business trip. A laptop and a smartphone are de rigueur. However, those taking trips to other countries may also need to bring specialized chargers and adapters for their appliances as well. Don’t forget these!

Stay Safe

Traveling anywhere carries some degree of risk. Given that fact, professionals should follow a few meaningful safety tips every time they take a trip. First, consult with your doctor before you travel to ensure you don’t have any undetected ailments that may threaten your health. (It’s also not a bad idea to visit an independent local testing clinic to check for asymptomatic diseases as well.) Second, follow all safety procedures on public transport systems. And lastly, avoid putting yourself in dangerous situations. Remember, you can’t put a price on your own health and well-being –– so don’t risk it for anything!

How to Save for Retirement When You Don’t Earn Much

One of the most common personal finance management tips is that you must start saving for retirement now, and for good reason. But how do you go about saving for retirement when you don’t earn much when you only make minimum wage?

Well, knowing how hard it can be to get your bills paid on time while putting money away for retirement, without looking for a loan, we’ve come up with practical ideas to help you out.

Positive planning

If you think of saving for your retirement as a lost cause, you will not get far, and you might have to work for the rest of your life. A positive attitude goes a long way in getting you good savings by the time you retire. So, think of how great it will feel to have some money to live on upon retirement then find a professional to guide you. If you cannot find one, start with writing down your plan for the future. If you want to retire in one of the Burlington homes, put it down in your plan.

Writing things down is important because it engages every part of you. A written plan opens up an unbelievable world of opportunities, and it also helps you in staying on track.

Find a mentor

You cannot get through life alone. You might have to go through a rough patch and having a mentor to hold your hand when you feel like giving up is the best thing you could do for your future self. Since paying for mentoring services might be expensive, you might want to find trustworthy friends or acquaintances to help you. Just make sure that you find a financially savvy mentor. You cannot afford to make mistakes now, can you?

Cut down your spending and create a tighter budget

All savings books and articles written have one thing in common – they all note that the only way for you to save more for your emergency fund or retirement is through budget cuts, and it’s all true.

Unless you look at your bank statements and expense receipts, you will never have enough money left to save. Since you don’t want to work until your body gives up, find all the little things that you can do without today and then stop spending money on them. Some of the cost-cutting alternatives include moving to a less expensive part of the country, sharing a car, or even getting a roommate to share rent.

Sign up for the 401(k) at the workplace

You can easily boost your savings with a 401(k) plan. Despite your meager pay, you can still save for retirement through this retirement plan. Ask your employer about it then match every dollar they put in. Remember that the 401(k) contribution by your employer is a lot like free money, and you can use it to build your nest for your long-term goals.

Pay off the high-risk debts

You cannot afford to walk around with a high-interest credit card debt if you want to retire happy. You need to pay off the debt as soon as you can – the high-interest cards accrue a very high APR, and that could be money that you put into your retirement basket.

Find a supplementary source of income

You could pay off your debt and save more if you found another job or another way to supplement your income. If you have a hobby, turn it into a money-maker and spend less time in front of the TV.

Finally, make use of financial planning tools and apps online.

Tensions results in a heavy loss in trading business

No trader will be good with only money-making intentions in the business of Forex trading. You need to know that this is the currency trading marketplace which we are talking about. Without some proper control of the process of trading, there cannot be good savings. The volatility of the marketplace does not give the traders some good experience. Moreover, the closing of the trades needs to be right and controlled properly by the traders. Without it, no one can perform well in the business. Thinking of a minimal setup, it can be possible for all of the traders. We are talking about following long term trading processes for your business. With some good management of the business, there will be a proper business plan made. But it is the focus which should be the main concern of the novice traders. Because they lack in that department. In the following article, we are going to talk about handling the trading approaches without any kind of disturbing tensions.

The traders should not be stressed out to manage profits

At the beginning of the trading career, many traders have their desire filled up with good income. They think about managing some good signals based on proper trends. But with some simple trick onto their sleeves, it can be managed. Most of the cases the concepts remain as a short term income from the trades. There is no way to manage that kind of business in Forex. The traders need to make some good planning for all of their trades. Most important of all, they will have to remain more concerned about saving the trades rather than making good profits. This is because it is hard for novice traders to deal with the volatilities. Surviving in the system will help you improve the dealing power of the right management of the business. All of the trades will have some sort of security in the process.

Learn to take some break

Never think you can trade the market 24 hours a day and become a Forex millionaire. It takes time to understand the nature of this Forex market. Being a fulltime trader, you have a lot to learn about the term “fx trading Australia”. Focus on proper education and take some small breaks on a regular basis. Never push yourself to the edge as it will make your emotional. Control your greed and consider trading as your business to become a profitable trader.

It is simple to control a quality trading business with plans

To keep the business process safe, it has to be organized. There is no way for the traders to manage some good performance with less thinking about rules. We are talking about the trading session design or making a proper routine for the working process. You will have to make some for your business performance. There cannot be too much of investment into the trades and that is alright. But without some proper and designated timeframe to work with, it is not possible to handle quality. The right selection of the trading methods will also have to be there. It is possible then for the traders to handle the business very well with some good income. Think in the most proper way and you will be good with the performance. In long term trading, the profit margins can also be very good.

You just have to make out a proper trading mindset for it

All of the ways are present for the traders to make some good performance. It is the traders themselves who happen to fall short with the rightful thinking. We are talking about the greed and excitement of making money in those traders. It must not be there and learning about reality will help you think straight. Moreover, the traders also have to be pay attention to savings.

Why you should stick to long term trading strategies

Everyone wants to lead their life without having any financial crises. People start working hard very early in the morning and still struggle to make a decent income to support their family. For this reason, people are always looking for an alternative source of income. Some people start a business but due to a lack of trading capital, they quit trading within a very short period of time.

Things have changed a lot since the creation and expansion of the internet as people can access the online trading industry and execute big trades with a small investment. You don’t have to deposit a huge sum of money to make a living out of trading. Just by using a high leverage trading account you can easily make a consistent profit just like professional traders in Hong Kong. Though there are many different ways of trading the financial instrument, today we will high light some of the key reasons for which you should stick to higher time frame trading strategy.

Reduce your risk exposure

Making a consistent profit in the Forex market is a very challenging task. If you look at the professional traders, you will be surprised to discover their depth of knowledge in this profession. Instead of trading the lower time frame, you need to analyze the higher time frame data. Though higher time frame trading is extremely boring it will help you to find the best trades in favor of the market trend. At the initial stage, you should never trade the market with real money since you will not understand how this market works. Start trading the market with a demo account so that you can learn to trade without risking any real money. Focus on your long term goals and you will be able to trade with minimized risk factors.

Trading with the market trend

There is saying in the Forex market. “Trend is your friend”. If you want to survive in the Forex trading industry you must master the art of trend trading strategy. Some of you might buy an expensive trading system from the professional traders but do you really think this system will work? The simple answer is NO. You have to understand how this market works. To be precise learn to decipher the language of the market so that you can execute quality trades. Stop executing trades in minor retracement as it will always increase your risk factors. Focus on long term goals and you will see significant improvement in your trading career.

A trade like a businessman

The majority of the new traders are losing money since they never consider trading as their business. They simply want to make a huge amount of money by trading with big lots. Things might work at the initial stage but if you consider the long term consequences you will understand the short time frame traders are the ultimate losers of this industry. Create a simple trading strategy so that you can execute a trade in the daily and weekly time frame. Stop trading the market with emotions as it always results in a huge loss.

Trading is just like a traditional business. You have to create a long term plan to deal with the ups and downs of the market. Never trade the market with high risk even though you know the details of this market. Focus on a conservative trading strategy since it will help you to survive in the long run. If necessary, invest some money to get a professional trading course from the experienced traders. But never start trading with real money without knowing the details of this industry.

Being a long term trader, it’s better to learn the price action trading strategy. It will help you to find great trades at the key support and resistance level. So, learn more about the Japanese candlestick pattern to become a better trader in the trading industry.

4 Awesome Side Hustle Ideas That Really Work

As you may have experienced, the big problem with some side hustles is that you end up doing a lot of hustling, and at the road your return on investment is feeble — or maybe even non-existent.

To ensure that you avoid heading down that depressing dead-end street, here are 4 awesome side hustle ideas that really work:

1. Become a dog walker.

As you may know, dog owners don’t just like their dogs: they absolutely love them. But they have a problem: when they’re at work or on vacation, Fido is stuck inside which makes him miserable (and also might lead to ruined carpets and the like). That’s where you come in!

As a dog walker, your noble mission is to provide dog owners and their beloved dogs with a service that they both desperately need. And if you do a good job (which of course you will!), then you’ll build a steady roster of clients — because dog people hang around with other dog people.

To get started, create a simple website, and then go door-to-door in your neighborhood and leave flyers. You can also contact pet stores, pet boarding, and pet grooming stores in your area and ask if you can advertise your services.

2. Share your opinions in focus groups.

Have you ever wondered why certain food item packages are a certain color or shape, or commercials are aired on TV? It’s not random. Rather, it’s based on extensive market research that involves a really big piece of the puzzle: focus groups.

Simply put, focus groups are discussions in which participants get together (usually in a hotel conference room or some other suitable location), and share their feedback on all kinds of stuff: how things look, how things taste, how things smell, and so on.

Heck, you probably enjoy sharing your views anyway, right? If you sign up to be part of focus groups, then you’ll be paid nicely for your time, and you’ll likely have your transportation expenses covered as well.

3. Become a house sitter.

Some folks are wary of going on vacation, because they’re afraid that burglars will break-in while they’re away — which is a legitimate concern, since criminals often “case” neighborhoods for signs of empty homes (e.g. flyers piling up on the porch, garbage containers not brought out to the curb, etc.). Or in a less terrifying level, some homeowners want the peace of mind in knowing that if something untoward happens while they’re away — such as a water pipe bursts or the furnace breaks down — that they’ll learn about this right away vs. when they come home, which could be weeks later.

As a house sitter, you won’t have to clean, move furniture, or even shovel snow or rake leaves (unless it’s part of the gig). You simply need to live in the house, stay alert, and update the homeowner — usually through email or text messages.

4. Wrap your vehicle.

Research by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America has found that fleet vehicle graphics boost brand recognition 15x more than any other form of advertising. As such, if you’re a business that wants to surge ahead of your competition, your best bet is to wrap all of your vehicles, right? Well, sort of.

The problem is that many businesses don’t have a fleet to speak of. At most, they have one or two cars. Or perhaps they do have a fleet of 10+ vehicles, but they want to expand their branding reach. That’s where you come in!

By agreeing to wrap your car (either partial or whole depending on the deal), you’ll get paid simply for driving around. You don’t have to sell anything, or even get out of your car. All you need is to commit to driving a certain amount per day, week and month, and that you keep your car clean. And speaking of clean: you also need a clean driving history.

The Bottom Line

Will any of these side hustle ideas make you a millionaire? Nope. But they can and give you some nice checks to cash, which could be exactly what you need to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams — or maybe just save up for a trip to Vegas. Either way, have fun and keep hustling!

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