Saturday, December 8, 2012

Pay Off A Payday Advance By Selling Clothes You Don't Need

If you're trying to pay off a payday advance, you either need to spend less or bring in more money. Consider selling clothes that aren't worn any longer to bring in the money you need.

Selling used clothes has become a growing business as people look for ways to save money as well as help the environment by recycling clothing. As stores continue to sell their inventory of used clothes, they need to replace it by buying from anyone willing to sell.

When going through your closets, look for clothing that is not worn or torn (unless that is part of the fashion), and especially not stained or smelling badly. You also need to look for clothes that fit the season, as these are more likely to be purchased.

Make sure the clothes are looking their best. Wash and iron them before you take them to the store. Also, call the store ahead of time and ask if you should have the clothes on hangers or if it has any other preferences.

Also, research the stores in your area. Different stores will often have different preferences for styles and labels. A vintage store will want clothes from 20 years ago or more. A modern/contemporary store will want clothes that are currently fashionable.

When you take the clothes to the store, don't bring it in a garbage bag. This will give the buyer a poor impression of the clothes before even seeing them. Bring the clothes on hangers in clear plastic or neatly folded in boxes or reusable shopping bags.

Don't take it personally if the store doesn't want your clothes or offers prices that are much lower than you expected. This isn't a reflection on how the buyer feels about you. It just means the buyer doesn't think the clothes you brought will sell well at this store.

At the same time, be willing to walk away if the buyer doesn't offer what you feel is a fair price. You can always try a different store.

You also might want to consider selling your clothes at a consignment shop, which doesn't buy the clothes from you, but pays you a percentage when the store sells the clothes. A consignment shop could still choose to not sell your clothes, but it may be easier to get a consignment shop to accept the clothes because it is not risking as much as a store that buys clothes.

The nice thing with a consignment arrangement is that you can claim the clothes back if they don't sell. You will just have to negotiate the price the clothes will be priced at and how much of that price you will get when it does sell.

If you can't find a store to accept your clothes, you could always try to sell them directly to customers yourself. You could do this by advertising on Craigslist or Ebay, or you could even try to sell them at a yard sale. Another option would be to try to sell them to friends with similar taste in clothing.

If all else fails, you could take the clothes to a thrift store, which only take donated clothing. This may not help with the payday advance, but you can get a receipt for them and deduct the clothes from your taxes.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Unit Trusts Or Endowment Policies, Are You Saving Enough?

Times are tough for South African families. The petrol price continues to climb steadily with the price of food not far behind. Globally, world financial markets are still battling the ever-present threat of recession. As a personal financial planner I have only one word of advice for my clients and that is to save as much as they can afford to, be it in unit trusts or endowment policies or any other suitable investment vehicle.

Our best defence against an uncertain economy is savings. As individuals we must save to protect against retrenchment, for example, or against increases in the cost of living, from food to petrol prices. Even in the best of economic times we should be saving, for our retirement, our children's education and towards an emergency fund.

South Africans are not a nation of savers. The World Economic Forums' 2011/12 Global Competitiveness Report ranks South Africa 72nd in the world for its gross national savings rate. This is well behind other BRICS counties like China, India and Russia.

To become better savers we need to understand why we have not developed a culture of savings in South Africa. Experts point to many reasons. Some say we are not motivated to save because we have such easy access to credit why save for something when you can buy it with your credit card or a store card for example?

Others say that we are status obsessed and will not hesitate to buy the latest cell phone or car even if we cannot afford it and even if a cheaper version of either would do the job just as well. In a nutshell, we have become a nation of consumers and not savers. The key lies in drawing up a budget, scrutinising your expenses and see what you can and cannot afford and what monthly costs can be reduced or even eliminated.

For many industry commentators the answer lies in education, in teaching people about the importance of saving, how much they need to save and explaining the many investment options available to them.

I often recommend unit trusts to my clients. They are an attractive investment option for many reasons. With unit trusts, individual investors can invest in and reap the benefits of the stock exchange without any expert knowledge as the funds you invest in are managed and monitored by experienced fund managers. You can also withdraw funds at any time without incurring any penalties. Finally, because your funds are invested in a number of different funds or assets your investment is diversified and your risk is spread.

In good times or in bad, saving should be a priority for every South African family. It is never too late to start saving and work towards securing your financial future.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

How To Deal With Rising Interest Rates

For the past few years, interest rates have been quite low, causing many people to borrow large amounts of money for a variety of different expenses. Now these interest rates are about to rise, and they will have a large effect on the personal finances of many borrowers. How do these interest rates affect you? What can you do to prepare for rising interest rates? In this article I will answer both of these questions.

When Do Interest Rates Rise?

When the Federal Bank increases the interest rates, the cost of mortgages, loans, and credit cards are also increased. Because the average American household owes at least ,000 in credit card debt, they will be heavily effected the rising interest rates. If you are having a difficult time making your payments every month or are only making the minimum payments, it can be very difficult to pay down the principle when the interest continues to increase. In a situation like this it could take many years to pay off a loan.

Don't Be Depressed

Even worse, if the economy suffers a major depression similar to what occured in 1929, banks and loan companies may begin calling in debts in order reduce their losses. This means that customers will be forced to pay back everything they owe up front, and if they can't their homes, cars, or other valuables could be taken from them. While this may sound extreme, history has a way of repeating itself. It is important to make sure you do everything you can to protect yourself and reduce the amount of debt you owe.

Try To Pay Your Debt Early

One thing you will want to do is start paying more than just the minimum payments. As the interest rates continue to rise, making only the minimum payments will do nothing to reduce your debt. If you don't have enough money to make more than just the minimum payments, look for ways to cut back on your expenses so that you will have more money left over to pay on your loans. You will want to reduce your spending and set aside a budget that will allow you to make larger payments towards the principle rather than just the interest.

Get On A lower Interest Rate

Don't listen to credit card companies that advertise credit cards at a fixed rate. By law, credit card companies have to give you a notice before increase the interest rate on the credit cards, and very few loans are exempt from the interest rates that are increased by the Federal Bank. It is best to transfer your balances from high interest credit cards to those that have a much lower interest rate. Look for companies that offer 0% interest rates for a set period of time. Home equity loans or lines of credit are tools that can also be used to consolidate and pay of your debts.

Consider A Cheaper Mortgage

If you have a mortgage that features an adjustable interest rate, consider switching to a fixed rate before interest rates begin to rise. This could keep you from getting into a situation where you could lose your home. If you are looking to buy a house, it is important to remember that the cost of houses will greatly increase once the interest rates start to rise. This means you will want to find a house before this happens so that you will avoid paying inflated prices.

Lease Or Buy a Car

If you are thinking of a getting a car, it may be a good idea to buy used instead of leasing a car from a dealership. It doesn't make much sense to get a car loan at a time when interest rates are about to rise. Buying a used car has many advantages, but you will want to do your research to make sure you get a good deal.