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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Starting an EBay Business

If you are thinking about starting an online EBay business there are many thing you need to know to so you can be successful. A lot of people I know have been successful in EBay and some have even given up the corporate life in order to do eBay full time. Now EBay is work, don’t kid yourself.  But if you want a stay at home business this is one that has been around for some time and it has made a lot of people like yourself successful.

First thing first, be smart and do some homework before diving in with both feet. Explore around and find the power sellers, check out their sites. Power sellers are very successful EBay business owners, look at they are selling and see how they set up their item descriptions and their about me page. Find out what is working for them and take some good notes. They would not be power sellers if they did not know what they are doing.

Now open up an EBay seller’s account. There are a few pages of information you will need to set up with EBay, you will also need to setup a PayPal account in order for your customers to pay you. PayPal is one of the best and easiest accounts for people to pay you through especially with a credit card.

Find items that are in high demand, this will take some research on your part. This is where you do some investigative work on power seller’s sights, and check out the “hot topic area” on EBay. What I did was I started selling items that were lying around my home and items that were cluttering up my garage and my shed. I started with these because these items were pure profit for me; I also had some old college text books that were in the closet doing me no good. I listed these on EBay and sold them for two to three times more profit than what I would have gotten for them at a yard sale.

Once you have your EBay business up and going and you have learnt the basics of what to do and how to do it. You will want to think about opening up an EBay store. An EBay store is a great place to show off all the items you have listed on EBay. People may be searching for one item and then they go to your store and find something that they just can’t live without, they would not have known about that item if they did not see it in your store.

One of the power sellers that I know uses Google “Trends”. Trends finds out what people are searching for on the internet. Google searches for hot topics that people all over the world are searching each and every day.  What my friends do is explore the list and see what they can get their hands on in order to sell on EBay. Just keep in mind that EBay is international, so if something does not sell in your area does not mean it may not be a hot topic in another part of the world. Stay positive and don’t get discourage, EBay takes work and commitment, treat it like a business and it will provide an extra income to you.

In a future article we will look at some of the finer details of how to run an EBay business. We will look at deeper of how to list items, how to add pictures, how to ship the best way, how to track your feedback, and good customer satisfaction ratings.

11 Ways for Saving Money

11 Ways for Saving Money

Are you new at budgeting your finances? Do you really need to start saving up for a new vehicle, plan a vacation, save for retirement, pay on some medical bills? Here are some thoughts of how you can say for these items.

1. Make a total of all your monthly bills. Monthly bills are ones that occur every month, usually on the same day. Insurances, house payments, cell phone bills, and car/school loans are all considered routine monthly expenses. Don't include things like grocery shopping, clothing, or eating out, these are flexible and can change from month to month.

2. Make a list of net income after taxes you receive each month. This would also include rental income, child support, interest you receive from investment, and etc.

3. Subtract your monthly bills from your income and what is left over is your true free income.

4. Take a look at your credit cards. Put your highest interest cards at the top of the list to pay off first. We need to get rid of these first and only keep the one with the lowest interest rate in your wallet. The ones in your wallet should only be used for emergencies only, like car repairs, medical emergencies, and home repairs that are a must!

5. Think about all the money you need to spend to SURVIVE. Not on dinners out, new toys, or clothing. Things you need to keep your family fed and healthy. Subtract this money from your free income, it should only be half or less of your free income money.

6. Use the rest of your free income to start paying down your credit cards. If you just pay the minimum each month you will not see your credit card debt drop. You must make a diligent effort to pay more than the minimum.

7. Repeat these steps until your credit card debt is under control. This doesn't mean having absolutely no debt, but I would recommend an amount you can pay off in 3 months or less.

8. Congratulations on making it to step eight and getting your debt somewhat under control! Now let's start saving. If you like to see what you need to save to retire, here is a free retirement calculator for helping figure our what you may need. Retirement Calculator

9. If your company has a 401k and they offer any sort of match (any percentage), start the 401k. This is free money that your company is giving you, if you do not take advantage of this you are losing out.

10. With you car loans, mortgage companies, and credit cards you may want to try and connect with the lenders and ask if they would consider lowering your interest rates. Even if you only get one yes, it is better than not asking at all and continue to pay high interest rates.

11. If your employer directly deposits money into your bank account, set up an extra account to add money into. Since you don't ever see it, you won't think about it. If you deposit your checks yourself, take advantage of a savings account or do what I did and set up an account at another bank and then on my bill pay each month I automatically transfer funds from my working account to my other bank account, what do they say, out of sight out of mind.

As hard as it sounds, try not to indulge. Cut back your cable package, go out to eat once a month, and instead of seeing movies on the big screen with your entire family, wait until you can rent the movie. Chances are you can rent movies through red box for less than $2.00! You can save a lot of money if you just put some effort into it. Our family had to make adjustments, but now we can sleep at night and don't have get scared if the phone rings thinking what collection agency is after me now.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

10 Ways to Get Out of Debt Without Ruining Your Future Credit

10 Ways to Get Out of Debt Without Ruining Your Future Credit
By Steve M Williams

Are you sick of spending large portions of your monthly income on repaying loans, credit cards and hire purchases?  Do you wish you had made better financial choices when you were younger?  Or are you still feeling the financial pinch following a personal crisis?

Whatever it is that got you into debt, you're not alone.  Literally millions of people are repaying money they wish they had never spent, or being penalized month after month for a time when they were forced to rely on credit.

There is hope.  You can get out of debt and take control of your financial future.

These ten simple steps show how you can get started:

Work out where you are financially - it sounds obvious, but so many people begin to bury their heads in the sand when finances are hard.  Be brave and confront your debt.  Make a record of exactly how much you owe, to whom.  Include the repayment period, the monthly installments, and the interest rates for each, as well as the dates each of these payments are required each month.

Budget yourself - now you know exactly where you are in terms of debt, you need to consider this in terms of your total income and other outgoings.  Make a record of all sources of income you receive as a family, together with all outgoings.  Are there some luxuries you can temporarily sacrifice to overpay your loans and get out of debt faster?  By having one take-away less each month, how much can you overpay your mortgage or credit cards by?  Be careful to examine your direct debits - these are often forgotten about instead of canceled.  Do you need and make use of all of the services and products you are charged for?  If you have a newspaper or magazine subscription, consider reading this free online instead - it's surprising how much daily newspapers especially add up to each month.

Using this information, create a sensible plan to overpay the debts with the highest interest rates. Include the whole family in this process so they understand why they are sacrificing the takeaway or newspaper - this is a great financial education for children and something the school won't teach them, so don't feel bad for involving them.

Be disciplined in your spending - when you feel the financial pinch, it's tempting to resort to getting further in debt.  Previously, this has been an option for almost everyone, but as the economic climate changes, more and more people will be refused further debts.  Get out of the habit of relying on additional credit right away.  If you need additional money, firstly question whether you do really need it, and then brainstorm ways of raising that amount without going further into debt.  Websites like eBay and CraigsList make it easy to sell anything you no longer use, and a pre-Christmas clear out can usually raise a surprising amount of money for Christmas gifts.  (I mention Christmas as it is the most popular time for new applications for loans and credit cards - don't do it.  Plan ahead.)

Track daily spending habits - often, when completing step two (budgeting), people will not understand how they spend all of their income.  In other words, the numbers don't add up.  To obtain a clear view of your finances, it's essential to track daily spending.  Each family member should do this, and honesty is key.  If you are spending £5 on lunch each day and your spouse is having a Starbucks coffee each day, you are spending a sizable chunk of money every single month on things that are not necessary.  Using these examples, you're spending around £158 each month!  What a difference that could make if it was used to overpay your highest-interest debts.  To lower this spending, only take your debit and credit cards out when necessary (often we fool ourselves that we need them 'in case of an emergency') and take just as much cash as you will definitely need for vital outgoings like bus fairs, parking expenses, etc.

 Bond with your bills - most service providers will offer you a discount for paying by direct debit.  Give them a call today and arrange this, taking note of the amount saved each month.  Use this extra cash to overpay your highest-interest debt.

Shop around - it's very likely that you are not being charged the lowest price possible for your utilities.  Using a quick Google search you can find impartial comparison sites for everything from telephone to electricity and internet providers.  Find one of these sites for your country and switch to a cheaper provider.  You guessed it; use the amount you save by doing this to over-pay your highest-interest debt.

Transfer debt - repeat step 6 but in terms of your credit cards and loans.  Shop around for ones that charge lower interest rates than your current ones, but don't get fooled into topping up loans or taking on extra sums and extending the period of the loan.

No more store credit cards - these usually charge by far the highest interest rates and see you paying well over the odds for the original items bought.  Cut up any existing store cards and don't be tempted into getting new ones.  Despite the great initial discounts they may offer, the danger of getting into more high-interest debt is too great.  Get used to paying for things with cash, which forces you to recognize the amount you are spending and often makes you realize you don't want the item in question that badly!

Bye bye bank - repeat step 6 but this time, for your bank account.  Look at online banks particularly, as these are often much more favorable than the larger high-street banks.

Review your mortgage - for most people, the mortgage is the biggest expense each month.  Spend some time ensuring you are getting the best deal.  Speak to an independent financial advisor to see whether you can save money by changing, but remember to take into account any transfer fees and other penalties.

Using just these ten steps you can monitor your outgoings, allowing you to overpay your debts.  This will get you free from debt quicker and will also give you a sense of achievement from saving money, instead of the happiness many people get from spending it.  As your highest-interest debt is repaid in full, you can then apply that complete sum to the next-highest, and so on.

With discipline, you can set your family free from financial debt.

Steve Williams is a renowned Wealth Coach, helping people around the world get out of debt and create wealth. He is currently offering a FREE special report entitled '15 Secrets of Wealth That Will Transform Your Finances & Lifestyle'

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Grow Vegetables and Save Money

Grow Vegetables and Save Money
By Lawrence  L. Hoyle

A Vegetable Garden can help feed your family in to days tough economic times. I grew up in the 40s and 50s and a vegetable Garden was a very popular thing. In the summer, my family lived off of the garden and preserved what grew for the winter months.

Making a garden can go a long way toward putting food on the table for your love ones. Fresh garden vegetables from you garden are more nutritious and taste better than what you buy in your local supermarket. Vegetable gardening is no different than growing flowers and if proper care your plant will flourish and produce a great crop.

First, you must decide what size the garden will be and it's location. A sunny location is a must. Vegetables like full sun all day. If you want a small garden, maybe raised planters would be your answer. Raised planters can be made using timbers or concrete wall blocks. The size and shape of your raised garden depends on your needs and the area you have to work with. Leave a path in
between planters for easy access.

What animals are present in your area? Tasty vegetables are liked by rabbits, deer and many others. One way to prevent this is to surround the garden with a fence.

Before planting, the soil must be properly prepared. Either use a roto-tiller or a spade to dig up the soil. Rake the soil to prepare the soil surface before planting garden seeds and plants.

Plan your garden arrangement, plant tall growing plants toward the back of the garden and the shorter ones in the front so that the sunlight does not get blocked.

Organic matter added to the soil releases nitrogen, minerals and other plant nutrients, plants need to thrive. There are some garden plants that need specific needs; leafy plants like lettuce, spinach and cabbage grow better with more nitrogen while root crops like potatoes, beets, turnips and carrots require more potash. Tomatoes And beans use a small amount of fertilizer, while plants like onions and potatoes need a large amount.

When to plant vegetables, here are some golden rules. Radishes, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, spinach are some of the vegetables that like cool weather, so plant them in early spring. Tomatoes, beans, corn, carrots, eggplant, beets and potatoes like warm weather. They have to be planted after the last frost has pasted.

 Plant and enjoy the great taste of home grown vegetables from your own garden.

Lawrence L. Hoyle, author, 48 years in the Landscape Profession. Check out his main websites at:

4 Awesome Financial Applications That Are Free

There are several free budgeting tool applications that can help everybody keep better track of their finances, and spending habits. These tools allows users to sign into their own personal account and electronically connect through a security portal and have their spending habits broke down to show the consumer an overall picture of their accounts. We are going to take a look at what I feel are the top four money management and budget management tools that are free to consumers to use.

The first one that we are going to look at is BillGuard.

Billguard was rated number one application in 2013 and 2014 by PCMag and TechCrunch magazine and along with being rated number one by CNNMoney for being the best application for money management.

The application is great for tracking your spending habits over time and comparing your habits to months previous in order to show you where you are doing great or where you are doing bad with spending or tracking on your budget. This app will also compare your spending habits and scans the internet for coupons that match your habits in order to save you time and money when you go to the store.

BillGuard sends personalized messages to it members in order to notify users if they've shopped at a merchant who has been breached, this is very helpful especially for the last couple of years where large department stores data has been breached and consumers credit cards has been compromised.

There are three categories to BillGuard, there is the free version that entitles you too: Smart Inbox, Spending Analytic's, Transaction Intelligence, Card Fraud Alerts, Data Breach Alerts, and Card Concierge.

The second version cost $2.99 a month and it entitles you will too: everything the free version offers plus, Live support 24/7, Lost wallet recovery, Credit Monitoring from one bureau, Identity Restoration.
The third version cost $6.99 a month and entitles you too: everything the first two versions offers plus Credit Monitoring from all three credit bureaus, Full Identity Restoration, Black Market Surveillance, SSN Fraud Alerts and $1 million ID Theft Insurance.

The second service that we will look at is

Many of you have heard of this awesome application called This is a free money management tool that is built by Intuit which brought us Quicken. The key features of this application is for you to be able to view all your accounts in one place so you know where you are spending to much money and the areas that you are saving money in. is a great tool to help you build your financial budget, especially for people that have never lived by a budget before. This budget tool comes with all the step by step instructions to help you build your budget, start a savings plan, and helps you pay down your bills.

If you are an investor in the stock or commodities market offers a nice tool to help you track your stocks and commodities. There are also some good learning tools to help new investors learn about investment strategies.

Another great feature with Mint is that you can keep track of your credit score at anytime with this program.

When you sign up for Mint you do not have to give them any credit card information. Many people including myself get really skeptical about being charged for something when it is advertised as a free service. But with Mint you do not have to worry about this, they will never ask for your credit card information.

The third app we will look at is called Checkbook.

This application is very similar to the application but with Checkbook you can transfer funds from one account to another account. This application is a great tool to manage your personal written checkbook, set up a budget for your home, keep track of spending habits and etc.

This tool is also free and easy to use.

The forth tool we are looking at is Spending Tracker.

Spending Tracker is another easy to use free application for tracking your expenses and helps you setup and run a household budget. Just like the other apps it offers you great looking charts and graphs to help you with all your budget needs.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Reverse Mortgage Pro's and Con's

Have you seen all the television advertisements about reverse mortgages? Have you ever wondered if a reverse mortgage is right for me or if I qualify for one of these types mortgages or are they some sort of scam? In this article we will take a look at what a reverse mortgage is, what you must do to qualify for one of these loans and what you can use the money for.

What is a reverse mortgage?

A reverse mortgage is a loan that you take out against the equity in your primary residence. You are allowed to draw against the equity but not all the equity only a portion of the equity that has built up over the years. The amount of money that you can have a loan for is determined by the age of the youngest person that is borrowing, interest rates and the lesser of the homes appraised value, and the FHA lending limit for the county the home resides in.
The borrower continues to retain ownership of the property and they do still have to pay taxes and insurance on the home but they do not have to make any payments on the loan as long as they continue living in the home till they pass away. If you move out of the home to a new home or if you move into a full time care facility you will need to pay back the loan, usually the loan payments would start anywhere from six months to a year after you have left your home.

How do I receive the money from the loan?

There are several ways that you could take the loan payout. You may take the loan amount as one lump sum. You could ask for it to be paid out to you monthly to help with monthly living expenses. You could take it out like a line of credit and draw only what you need, not to exceed the mortgage limit. This money can be used for almost anything, but think it through because it is a loan. Most people use the funds to pay off other forms of high interest debt, use it to pay for medical expenses, they opt to take out monthly payments like an annuity to help pay for monthly expenses, or if funds are tight and you need to do some home renovations the money could be used for this type of thing, You are not really directed to what you use the money for, but again this is a loan so make some well educated choices.

How does the loan get paid back if I do not make payments?

Like I keep repeating this is a loan and it is governed by the Department of Human and Urban Development HUD for short and the Federal Housing Administration FHA for short. Homeowners still retain ownership of the home and like I mentioned you do not have to make any monthly payments. Even if the property value drops you still do not have to make any monthly payments to pay back the loan. So you ask who pays back the government, I am glad you asked and here is the answer. When the loan is called or due, the heir or estate can choose to repay back the loan or they can sell the home and repay back the loan and keep what ever is left of the estate. If the home sells for more than what is due on the mortgage the remaining balance after the reverse loan is paid off go's to the estate as an inheritance.

A reverse mortgage loan is “non-recourse”, meaning that if you sell the home to repay the loan, you or your heirs will never owe more than the loan balance or the value of the property, whichever is less; and no assets other than the home must be used to repay the debt.

Pros and cons of a reverse mortgage.

Pros – Homeowner still owns the home, flexible disbursement options, many times the proceeds can be tax free, heirs of the estate will receive the remaining positive balance of the estate after the reverse mortgage is paid off, if the estate value is less than the reverse mortgage balance the heirs are not responsible for the remaining balance, Interest rates may be less than a traditional mortgage or other types of loans.

Cons - hidden administrative cost, some reverse mortgage programs are very complicated, the value of the estate will be affected and will decrease over time as the proceeds are paid out, FHA mortgage insurance premiums can be expensive.

Alternative to reverse mortgage.

A simple line of credit can be taken against the equity of the home from a local bank. The advantage is that the fees for these types of loans are a lot less. But these loans do require a monthly payment.

Home refinancing is another option, but like a line of credit you do have to make monthly payments. Again the administrative fees are a lot less than a reverse mortgage.


Reverse mortgages are for some but not for all. Do not just jump into a reverse mortgage make sure you investigate the company that is promoting the program and make sure you read all the fine print. It is also advised that you talk to a HUD advisor since the agent selling the reverse mortgage may not spell out all the negatives to the program and how it will affect the heirs of your estate. It would be best that you talk to a financial advisor or if you have an attorney that is a friend or on retainer it would be best for them to go over the paperwork and the application before you sign any documents.