5 iPhone Apps for Money Management

You may be able to manage your money a little better if you were not buying apps. Nevertheless here are five apps you may use to manage your money with your iPhone. The apps listed are good for different purposes, but are primarily personal finance tools that help solve problems a single individual may face. Here are the different purposes the apps serve–followed by their descriptions and comments.

Pocket Money – A money management tool that requires little input.
Mint – A money management tool that allows bank synchronization for free.
Splash Money – A money management tool that allows bank synchronization for a fee.
Bloomberg – A money management tool primarily for investors.
CheckPlease Lite – A money management tool that helps you divide up a meal bill and work out the tip.

Pocket Money – Free (kinda)
This app is pretty handy because it does not ask you to input a lot of data. As we all know–if we had time to enter buckets and buckets of information about or money movements into an app, then we would have time to sit down, plan a budget and stick to it. Nevertheless this app asks for little input. In return for your input it will give you account details, budgets, spending analysis and will also you to export this data to other software for further use. There is a free version with fewer features, and a paid version has had its price jump up and down like a custom essay about a kangaroo with a bum full of rocket fuel.

Mint – Free
Online at the moment, if you were to Google a money management app you would probably see a lot of positive reviews for the Mint app. It seems to be very well received. So, either it is a great app, or the company has a great PR team, marketing team and reputation management team. A precursory play with the app (for reviewing purposes) seems to back up the maker’s claims.

It is an app that follows your bank account and enters your purchases and incoming money into your balance sheet and budget automatically. It will also send you a real-time alter if you have gone over the budget you set for yourself, or for if one of your accounts has a low balance. The only head-scratcher about this app is why it is so sophisticated and yet free. The designers have clearly done a lot of work for it, so how were they paid for their efforts?

SplashMoney – Paid
This is an app with a few money management features. It is a personal finance tool so will help you set household budgets, fuel budgets etc. There are a lot of tools that probably took a lot of designing. This is probably why it is not free. There is also the option to connect wirelessly to your bank via an encrypted route.

Encrypted is very important because wireless is not exactly 100% secure. You may also purchase the PC version and synchronize them too. The fact you have to pay them to use the app (as low as $5) does offer a little more reassurance than the mint.com app, because it gives the manufacturers a financial incentive to make sure their app is secure and bug free.

Bloomberg App – Free
This allows you to track your investments. It will also give you the latest news via audio and text. It allows you to watch certain companies, track their progress, and even creates charts for you, so that you can either buy or sell based upon them.
The degree of personalization means you may become very comfortable with using this app on a regular basis. This is a big plus if you are buying/selling shares and want to watch for the peaks and troughs wherever you are. They have also made it in 12 languages too.
CheckPlease Lite – Free
This is a very simple calculator app that will help you dividing up the bill for a meal, and will also help you to work out the tip too. The app is free because they advertise on it with a banner running across the top. For just 99c you can remove the marketing banner.

How to Rebuild & Fix Your Credit Score – Steps to Follow

What score is considered bad? Well, anything below 600. The more your score dips down, the greater effort you should put in to fix the issues. A quick fix is a must; otherwise endless will be the suffering when it comes to applying for loan. You will be driven from the pillar to post but the neat result will be zero because you will come back empty handed from every lending house. Even if some want to extend financial help, you have to pay through your nose for interest payment. Here are some steps regarding how to rebuild & fix your credit score.

Get two types of credit cards

It is important to open both lines of revolving credit cards. If your credit score is far below 600, you will less likely to get a store credit card. Those roaming in the 300 range must try to get two secured credit cards. Yes, you need to deposit a goodly sum but at the end of the day, you will realize that it is worth paying that much.

Pay off all dues on credit card

It is not a new suggestion; you must have read it before. Still, the online authors reiterate the same line because no effort to improve credit score will be fruitful if this point is neglected. Besides clearing the outstanding dues, it is also important to pay off the scheduled installments if you take loans in future, otherwise it will be a dirty picture and you will be in complete debt mess. How quickly you clean your dues accounts for 35% of your credit score improvement.

Maintain zero balance

A zero balance is ideal for building and maintenance of a good credit status. High balance does a damaging act to your credit rank and pulls it down by 30%. Pay off the high balances as fast as possible. And until the balance comes down to zero, stop purchasing unnecessary staffs.

Patience is important to build/rebuild your credit

Whether you are building it for the first time or rebuilding it from the verge of ruin, no good turn can be experienced overnight. At least six months’ waiting is a must to enjoy some improvement. And it may take one or two years to bring back your credit score to its former glory.

Be committed to your purpose

No fits and starts but an uncompromising dedication is needed for credit recovery. And once it gets back to the normal level (ideal status), the banks will approve your loan application. The banking authority will definitely ask about your credit history. Though it dipped down once upon a time, but now it is quite stable, so you won’t have any problem to convince the authority.

To turn around credit score, you need to be committed, hard working and patient; the desired result will definitely come your way……….

How to Save Money in College

Did you know that a person with a college degree can make up to a million dollars in their lifetime? That’s a lot more than an individual with only a high school diploma will earn. Having a college degree can open up a lot of doors for you. But even though attending college comes with a lot of benefits, many students are worried about how they are going to pay for their tuition, textbooks and other expenses. Thankfully, there are a lot of ways that you can save money on college.

The first thing that you need to do is to see if you qualify for financial aid. This is as simple as filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You will then receive an email with a list of grants and scholarships that you may be eligible for. Grants and scholarships are great because it is essentially free money. It isn’t like student loans, where you have to eventually pay them back. Try figuring out how many you are qualified for and apply to them all.

When filling out a scholarship, be sure to take your time with it and make sure it is complete. Most scholarship applications will also ask you to submit an essay and personal financial information.

You should also contact the financial aid office of the school you will be attending. Their job is to help you figure out how to pay for college and they will have a list of loans, grants and scholarships on hand that they can send to you.

If you want to spend time working and saving up for college, a great way to do this is to take your undergraduate prerequisite classes at a local community college. Community colleges are much more affordable than state universities or private colleges. Online colleges are also extremely cost efficient and allows you to work at your own pace and attend classes on your own schedule.

Some businesses offer educational funding for their workers, so be sure to talk to your employer about possible financial opportunities.

When you file your taxes, try using Lifetime Learning Center or Hope Tax Credit.

It is possible to afford college and increase the quality of your life and your future.

Do Chinese Real Estate Stocks look Attractive for the Long Term?

It looks as if the U.S. real estate market is limping back to normalcy. But at the same time, Mainland China may well be looking at a possible real estate crash. A bit of success has been achieved by the Chinese government in attempting to cage the increase in prices in the housing sector. While there is a bit of risk as far as the short term is concerned, the long term growth in this sector of China looks quite positive indeed.

Amongst the varied Chinese consumers, about 300 million people or more constitute the middle-class and they aim for a good lifestyle, for which real estate is a chief target. According to the analysts of Standard & Poor’s, the prices of homes in China are on the declining trend and this has paved way for the return of buyers in the steadying real estate market.
On the other hand, it is well known that the real estate market is facing difficulty in California. So is it not peculiar that its state pension fund – the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has revealed its interest of investments to the tune of $530 million in ARA Asset Management-managed two new China real estate funds, which could be nothing but positively for the longer-term? (Source: Forbes, September 24, 2012 titled “California State Employees Bet on China Real Estate.”)
In order to be more cautious in the Chinese real estate market, one could consider investing in the exchange traded fund of Guggenheim China Real Estate (NYSE/TAO). As of August 30, this fund has a year to date return of 25.5% and its holdings constitute large Chinese real estate stocks that are value-oriented.
There is another small-cap real estate company in China that is emerging in the market; Xinyuan Real Estate Co., Ltd. (NYSE/XIN). It has a market cap of $200 million and presents an opportunity of speculation and possibly high profits; especially after having outperformed the S&P 500 over the past 52 weeks; although this stock is currently seeing a low after its fifty-two week high of $3.95. This company is into the business of buying and developing land into large scale and top quality residential projects. Its clients are mainly the middle class citizens of the China’s growing II tier cities which are significantly sizeable and sufficiently urbanized. The company seeks those cities having a GDP that is above average along with a good growth in population. Examples of such cities whose pooled population is above 34.5 million people are Hefei, Jinan, Kunshan, Suzhou, Zhengzhou, Chengdu, and Xuzhou.
There are apartment buildings of various types: multi-layered, sub-high-rise, high-rise, etc. There are also retail outlets and facilities for education, leisure and health. All such projects are undertaken by the Xinyuan Real Estate Company. The company’s latest acquisition has been through its development unit in the United States named XIN Development Group International. It is a $54.2 million development site in New York City; which speaks volumes of the company’s strengths and hence potential profits.
Out of the past seven years, Xinyuan has seen profits for seven years; the last three years exhibiting the maximum increasing levels of the same. The yearly sales have shown continuous growth per year for nine years. (In the year 2002, the sales were $12.8 million; while the year 2011 saw their figures touch $688 million).
If we consider the projected or estimated earnings of Xinyuan for 2013, it looks like the current trading value is quite cheap; at a price-to earnings multiple of twice the estimated earnings of $1.45 per diluted share. This low price to earnings makes up for the risk factor that is associated with China.
As with any investments, it is always sensible to analyze the company in question and learn about its history and current position in the market. After all, there is a risk factor associated with any such trading and the future may not necessarily be a repetition of the past; especially where profits are concerned!

What Is an Unsecured Loan?

Taking out a loan is a big decision. Not only do you need to be sure you find the best deal, but also the best type of loan for your situation. The types of personal loans on offer vary a great deal, but basically there are two main types of loans available, and these are the secured loan, and the unsecured loan.

Secured Loans:
Very simply, a secured loan is a loan that provides security for the lender, with an asset such as a house. For this reason, anyone applying for a secured loan is normally allowed to have a poor credit history, but should be a homeowner. Secured loans are generally for borrowing larger amounts of money, anything between £3,000 and £60,000, although the upper limit varies according to lender. As with unsecured loans, a secured loan also requires that you make monthly repayments to repay. However, defaulting on a secured loan could put your home at risk, so it’s important to bear in mind that it’s sensible to take out a secured loan only if you are absolutely sure you can meet repayments.

Unsecured Loans:
An unsecured loan is a personal loan that has no security to offset the risk to the lender, and so isn’t secured against a high value asset. As such, an unsecured loan is used for borrowing smaller amounts of money. Traditionally, high street banks made personal unsecured loans available, but the recent financial crisis has seen other types of credit providers take over. However, if you have bad credit than your options will be more limited.

Unsecured loan deals normally provide amounts of up to £5,000, and the loan term is much shorter. However, because an unsecured loan is a contractual agreement which isn’t secured against an asset such as house or car, then the APR rates are higher due to the risk involved for the lender. Types of unsecured personal loan range from credit cards, to payday loans and guarantor loans.

Bad Credit Unsecured Loans:
Taking out any type of bad credit loan will always cost more due to the risks involved for the lender. However, an unsecured guarantor loan offers security from a third party who has agreed to take responsibility for the loan if the borrower defaults. So for this reason, guarantor loans are one of the cheaper options.  APR rates are lower due to the lender having had the risk of default removed. However, it’s still important for the borrower to repay to avoid creating an adverse credit history for themselves, because taking out a guarantor loan also makes it possible to start rebuilding a poor credit score.

Some questions to ask before choosing any type of unsecured loans would be:

  1. How much can I afford to borrow?
  2. What is the APR rate?
  3. How long do I make repayments for?
  4. Does the lender allow early repayment?
  5. Are there any penalties or charges for early repayment?

Finally, a good online comparison site can help you find the best deal – always shop around, and make sure you ask the questions outlined above.

House Price Rise in UK – Is It a Surprise Temporary Blip?

The fact disclosed by Halifax – Britain’s biggest mortgage lender – that the house prices went up by 2.2pc last month may be contradictory for some especially in the background of recent downward trend in this regard. Many wonder whether it is only a short-term sensation or will last longer.

Martin Ellis, a renowned group housing economist, has sighted the historically low volume of housing sales as the reason for fluctuating housing prices. The price has risen by 2.0pc in the last March and dipped down by 0.4pc in April.

However, the house prices in the UK are more stable and I am presenting some convincing figures that will speak volume for this statement. House prices in the first quarter of 2012 have gone up though by a slight margin as compared to what prevailed in the last quarter of 2011. The increase in house price is equal to the recoded fall between the third and fourth quarters in the last year.

The first time buyers were almost rushing to make the advantage of stamp duty before it expired by the end of March. This may have pushed the sales margin which has ultimately resulted into a forward movement of the house price. As far as the critics believe, the price will continue to shoot up provided the economy does not experience a lethal blow.

Nationwide, Britain’s biggest building society has exposed the fact that the house prices are significantly higher in the short run as compared to the long term trend provided the figure is calculated as the multiples of gross average earning. The national price/earnings ratio for the first time home buyers is 4.3 at present whereas the same ratio is as high as 5.1 in London. According to the market analysts, these high multiples will not sustain in the long run and drop by 20pc or more.

One thing to make a good note of is that the prices are steadily falling in other cities and it is in stark contrast of price rising in London. The current scenario shows all signs of house prices picking up throughout the country. The house sale has been continuously rising since 2009.  81,000 houses were sold in January and February this year which is 14pc higher than what was in the same months last year.

For some pessimistic personnel, the UK market will hardly take a surprise turn. Both marginal demand and supply in the real estate industry have dropped in the last few years, thereby making the UK property market as nothing but a shadow of its usual self. The real estate market always attunes itself with economic buoyancy and truly speaking, the UK economy is not in a great state. So rising house price in London is a logic-defining syndrome. Some are of strong hope that Government’s New Buy scheme will surely rejuvenate the real estate market; however they are going to the farthest end of their wildest imagination.

Savvy spender: The best saving apps for your Android

When you shop online, you can find great deals and compare prices between stores. If you own an Android phone, plenty of apps let you partake in the benefits of online shopping while on the go. Take a look at these apps to make your hard-earned dollar stretch just a little bit further.

Retail Me Not:
If you frequently shop online, you’ve probably spent some time hunting down coupons and promo codes. Retail Me Not is already a successful website, and you can expect the same savings with the mobile app. Retail Me Not has just released this Android version, which follows the iOS app. Once you log in, you’ll see the familiar logo and colors, and you can start searching for your favorite stories right away. Retail Me Not shows promo codes that you can enter during the checkout process. You might get free shipping, an extra product or save a percentage off your total. Plus, the Android app shows hot deals for popular stores.

Gas Buddy:
If you own a car, then you have to head to the gas station periodically to fill up your tank. Gas Buddy is a website and app that lets you look up current prices for local stations. You can head to the cheapest gas station on the list to save a few cents per gallons. Never fill up without checking Gas Buddy again.

While your success with coupon apps like Groupons varies wildly depending upon location, you can save some serious cash if enough people sign up for the daily deal. Get your friends and family on board, and you’ll soon be hitting up that restaurant that you thought was out of budget or treating yourself to a cute manicure for way less than full price.

Savvy shoppers and aspiring cooks alike can flock to BigOven, the app which provides ideas for meals to make from ingredients you already have on hand and even leftovers. If you shift from eating out to cooking at home, you can definitely save money. This is especially true if you’re feeding an entire family from a fast food bag several times per week. You can bookmark favorite recipes you’ve already tried; mark new recipes that you want to try soon and make a shopping list for your next trip to the grocery store with BigOven.

Grocery Pal:
Here’s another app that promises to make your shopping experience less expensive and less frustrating. Download the free app to your phone and take it with you when you head to buy groceries. You can create a shopping list after entering your zip code into the app or skip right to the specials. Stores such as Wal-mart, Target and Walgreens make an appearance in Grocery Pal, which includes printable coupons, but it also lists sales and deals for smaller chains like Pick N Save or ShopKo. This makes it more useful to shoppers in rural locations and small towns.

Of course, there are just a few options available, and you might have tried other apps to save you a few cents or a few hundred dollars. Which apps do you use to save money?

How to Find Best Finance Software Application

Finance being heart and soul of any business organization, must be handled by an efficient hand. Keeping a track of day-to-day transactions and recording them without failure are very important no matter whether you are a small gun or a big wig in the corporate industry. They all say it is really a tough job to handle those ‘money matters’ of a corporate house. I would like to present you an easy option.

Finance Software

Some finance software tools come at a price and a few rest are free of cost. You remember the old adage “you get what you pay for”. True but does not ring truer in every case! So, even the free choice can be the best problem solver as far as your finance management is concerned.

Now let us have a long look at the prime features of the best finance software application in the industry and how they can be a fit in your case.

Keeping a tab on day-to-day money flow:

The best software generates a budget report for your business house through graphical format as well as elaborate explanation. Just a throw of glance at the chart will help you identify the expenses and earning in the previous month. The report also enlists deposit and withdrawals under different heads for easy comprehension by the users.

Creating and maintenance of corporate budget:

The software tools have several predefined categories to track your spending on daily as well as monthly basis. A business firm is inspired by two goals – maximization of output subject to a certain cost level and minimization of cost subject to the pre-set output level. If your business is just a start-up, then set the budget limit for every category. The best finance software application in the industry can easily show the difference between the actual cost and budgeted values.

Doing calculations in different currencies:

The best software tool can generate calculations in 150 different currencies. The embedded codes make it possible to automatically download the exchange rates from the internet.

Bringing you online banking facility:

The software application downloads vital online banking information in the format of QIF and OFX. However, if it is a small business unit, it is better for you to export to Text, HTML or CSV formats. This will help generate statements and do the analysis of the most complicated statistics.

Doing double checking:

The best finance software application in the industry keeps your finance database protected through the password use. It hardly matters if you are an accounts graduate or not, you can efficiently use the scheduled data backups and other features.

Providing a loan calculator:

You may need to take loans for business purposes. The best software provides a professional mortgage calculator to help you get an estimate on the future mortgage payments.