How First-Time Homebuyers Can Save Money

There are many reasons it would be financially advantageous to purchasing a house. You may have recently graduated from college, are a newlywed, expecting your first child, or have accepted a new high-paying job. There are long-term financial advantages and tax benefits to homeownership, but one of the largest roadblocks to purchasing a house is often the down payment. Below is a list of suggestions that you can use to save money towards a down payment on a new house.
• Create a Household Budget – Write out a list of all your monthly expenses. Go through your checkbook and receipts for the past three months and find out exactly how much you are spending per month. Create a budget that you can live with that limits your expenses. Track your spending, this will help you realize what expenses you may be able to eliminate.
• Open a Savings Account – After creating your monthly budget, devote a certain amount or percentage of your monthly income to savings. Your savings should be used only for special purchases or holiday spending to avoid using credit cards or creating new debt.
• Bank Account Fees – Check your bank statements to find out if you are paying a monthly service fee for your checking and/or savings accounts. If you are, it would benefit you to research banking options from other institutions. You may not only eliminate monthly fees, but possibly receive a bonus for opening a new account.
• Credit Cards – If you carry balances on your credit cards, you’re paying an extraordinary amount of interest. Be prudent, focus on paying your credit cards off or consolidate the debt to an installment loan with a lower interest rate.
• Shopping – When going to the store for groceries, clothing, bathroom and household necessities, always write out a list and stick to it. This will help you eliminate impulse buying. Many individuals purchase unneeded items when they shop and regret the purchase later.
• Entertainment Budget – Most people do not have a household budget, therefore they have no idea how much they actually spend in entertainment dollars. Institute a weekly or monthly entertainment budget, based on your past spending habits. Your plan should include money to continue your normal routine, such as: money for lunch, dinner, and/or going out with your friends. If you pack your lunch and eat at home a few more days per week, you will undoubtedly save money.
• Insurance and Mobile Phone – Compare the rates that you are paying for your auto insurance and cell phone to currents offers. If rates have gone down, you may be able to save on both of these expenses.
There are countless ways to eliminate expenses and save money, implementing just a few of these cost-saving measures in your monthly budget will help you save faster than you may have thought possible. There is no magic pill or instant solution to saving money; it will take a variety of changes as well as time to save the money needed for a down payment. As an alternative to saving the down payment for a house, most lenders will allow gifts from family members as well as grants from nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Check with your lender to find out if you qualify for any down payment assistance grants in your area.

Accounting Career Degree Options

Money is used and needed to conduct any form of business. This fact has established many careers dedicated to working with money. Accounting is one career that is highly valued by companies and individuals alike. Colleges offer degree programs at every level making accounting a popular educational path that delivers clear professional results.

The degree options available allow students to choose the program that best fits their needs and career goals. Students can expect to acquire the ability to record financial transactions for a business. This work is highly significant inside the workplace, which makes earning an education essential. Studies in accounting allow students to enter certificate, associates, bachelors, master’s, and master of business administration programs.

*Associate’s Degree in Accounting

The main focus of a two-year associate’s program is to provide students with the opportunity to gain entry-level jobs as assistants and bookkeepers. Learning focuses on teaching students about finance, management, marketing, and more. These industry basics are covered through specific courses that prepare students for work. A financial accounting course centers on the proper use of economic information to make decisions. Students learn how money circulates through a business. Topics include revenue, debt, inventory, income statement, and credit procedure. These are covered in main categories including accounting statements, financial statements, accounting cycles, and business transactions. This degree option is a good choice for students that want to enter the industry quickly and go back to school at a later time.

*Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting

This option is predominantly the first choice made by students who are just starting their education. Earning a bachelor’s degree takes four years and is required for students to take licensing exams. The curriculum teaches students how to effectively measure and report on all the financial transactions of a business or an individual client. The main areas of accounting are explored including the audit process, analysis, and decision-making. A course on cost accounting may be included in a degree program. Colleges that offer this type of course teach students about standard, budget, inventory, accounting, and performance systems that lead to working with a business on their monetary needs. This information is coupled with statistics and finance examination that prepares students for their role in the profession.

*Master’s Degree in Accounting

This type of program takes approximately two years to complete and prepares students for advanced positions inside businesses. College’s focus on providing their students with the chance to fully explore real world situations and apply advanced accounting procedures to specific situations. Some courses could include auditing, taxation, and financial research. With students studying to enter top-level careers, working through a decision making course helps prepare them for leadership positions. The financial process is directly applied to decisions on assets, liabilities, equity loans, and business operations. A liability section of the course teaches students how to assess liability currently involved in businesses and future liability. These topics and more are discussed in a master’s degree program.

An Online Finance Degree Can Open Doors To A New Career

Earning an online finance degree from an online university, college or business school can open up many opportunities to work in the field of finance. There are the typical levels or degree programs available in finance as in many online college degrees. Associates degree is the basic degree level all the way to an MBA (Masters of Business Administration) or Doctorate. The online finance degree offers additional benefits to students and college faculty in regards to flexibility of scheduling and course instruction.

An Associate’s Degree is the basic level of achievement in almost any degree program online and will typically take about 2 years to complete. The Associate’s degree might be satisfactory for entry level employment at credit unions and banks, or possible smaller accounting firms.

A Bachelor’s Degree is the next level and is usually referred to as a “four year degree” as it should take approximately 4 years to complete. The Bachelor’s Degree is much more widely accepted when seeking employment in the field of finance and the opportunities for employment are much broader with a Bachelors Degree. Banking, large accounting firms, investment firms and financial planning companies might typically be looking to hire graduates of a four year Bachelor’s Degree program. A finance degree can also prepare a student for further degree programs such as an online marketing degree or any number of other online college degrees.

The Master’s Degree is where the best job offers reside and an MBA is the ultimate Master’s degree when it comes to an online finance degree. A Master’s Degree holder is eligible for just about any job in the finance field right out of college. Businesses look at graduates holding Master’s Degrees or MBA’s as having the right education and training to step right into an upper-level job.

Some of the different specialties within finance are:

Credit Analyst
Investment Banker
Financial Planner
Financial Advisor
Finance Officer
Loan officer
Many of these career choices are obviously in the banking and investment sector but many large corporations and companies require a finance officer or an upper level manager with a finance background to help maintain the assets of the company.

An Online Finance Degree also offers the flexibility of online college degree programs in that students are often able to continue their current employment while attending college. This flexibility is what makes online degree programs so attractive to potential students who are already employed in their chosen field or who have other family and work obligations.

Earning an Online Finance Degree is definitely a big step forward if you are working in the finance field or want to begin a career in the field of finance. Getting your finance degree online will allow you some flexibility to work at your own pace in order to achieve the level of education and career advancement you desire.

What if you just can’t seem to get ahead in life?

I know how hard it can be when your stuck between a rock and a hard place. You want to go back to school so you can get a better job, a better life. But how do go to school when you have a job that you need to pay the bills? There is a way!

The Number One Estate Planning Mistake to Avoid

The topic of estate planning is misunderstood and wrapped in mystery for most individuals. Easy to understand why. Pop culture has evolved to label estate planning as something only the wealthy need. After all, what images pop into your head when you hear the term estate planning? Rolling estates, mansions and huge bank accounts.
Estate planning at its core is a simple idea. Yes, there are tactics that might seem complicated. However, when you boil down estate planning, it is planning for how the things you own pass on after your death.
What is the number one mistake you can make relating to your estate? Failing to have a plan.
There are many important issues to consider when developing a plan. The least of which is how your assets (your property) will pass on after your death and who will receive them.
The goal of a plan is control. Without a plan, you give up control how your property will be distributed. Without a Will, you shift the decision how your estate will transfer from you to the state.
What can you do to ensure this does not happen? Takes steps today and start a conversation with you and family.
There are professionals who make up a typical estate planning team.
Insurance Agent: An agent might seem an odd place to start. However, your insurance agent is commonly the person who starts the conversation. An agent can also help if products such as life insurance, long-term care or annuities could benefit your plan.
Attorney: An attorney is responsible for developing the legal documents and transfer strategies for your estate. An attorney will draft a will, trust or other estate documents.
Accountant: An accountant aids with potential tax issues. If an individual’s estate is large, there may be tax issues such as federal estate and income taxes. If you plan to give to family or charity, an accountant can help develop a plan that is tax compliant.
Broker: If you own securities, involving your broker in the planning process helps ensure your plan is consistent with your investing strategies.
The process: Once you meet with a professional. They will complete a financial profile. A financial profile lists your assets and offers a snapshot of where you are financially. Next, is discussing how you want your estate to transfer.
Next is involving the other members of the estate planning team. The cost to develop a plan will depend on the level of planning needed. Having a will drafted is the simplest estate plan you can have. A living trust or advanced legal documents will likely increase the cost.
Cost is often the concern that impedes individuals from starting the estate planning process. However, when you consider the cost and complication to your family.
A plan can be complicated or simple. Conversing with a professional can help evaluate potential issues and start the process.
Neither Barry Taylor, Integrated Planning Solutions nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for tax or legal advice. Consult with your legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situation before making any tax or legal related decisions.