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Are You Ready to Buy Bank Foreclosure Homes

The desire to buy bank foreclosure homes may have been growing in you for quite some time. This feeling may also be accompanied by the gnawing thought that maybe it is time to be free of the restrictions of renting and be more responsible in terms of homeownership. You check your salary versus the cost of buying a pre-owned house and decided that you could afford to have a house of your own.

But wait. Are you sure ready for it?

The Checklist

Your salary may qualify you for a loan to purchase one of those bank foreclosure homes advertised. You may even think you can still haggle down the price with the seller. But have you checked if you could afford the monthly payments for the house? Your cash flow may have only allowed you to accommodate rent, but can you take a debt of 35 years? It may even eat up 30 percent of your cash flow.

Your emotions can get the better of you. You may have been arguing with yourself, your spouse or your parents that you need a bigger space, more freedom and a place for your business/side business. While it may be logical, you have to do the math first and see if your arguments outweigh the monthly cost of owning a home. Will the new house require you to have a car because of its location? Or will it allow you to ditch the car, save some money by taking the public transport since it is in the middle of the city? Will it allow you to expand your business/side business?

Another thing to consider is the time you need in maintaining your own home? Do you have time to mow the lawn, dig through the snow in your driveway, or do the repairs? These chores may eat up the time that is supposedly devoted to your business/side business and/or family.

Also worth considering is your ability to come up with the down payment for one of those bank foreclosure homes you have been wanting to buy. The era of “no-down payment, introductory low interest rates” is over. Banks have tightened their lending since the credit crisis, so they may require you to make a down payment of at least 20 percent. Without it, you would be paying for a higher interest rate, which would hurt your pocket in the long run.

These questions may help you see clearer if you are really ready to buy your own house – even one of those bank foreclosure homes that are sold below market value. But if your answer to the questions above is “yes”, then proceed in making your monthly budget and long-term financial plan to allow you to take on a new or additional debt for your planned purchase.

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Financial Infidelity What Is It

Although many are not familiar with the term financial infidelity, it has increasingly become a problem in many households across America. So what exactly is financial infidelity? Financial Infidelity occurs when one person in a committed relationship spends or hides money without disclosing it to their partner.

Like sexual infidelity, financial infidelity can destroy one’s marriage. Money problems are known to be one of the leading contributors to divorce. Financial infidelity happens to be at the top of the list of money problems that lead to divorce. Shockingly, Jennifer Brand, a family law specialist in Philadelphia, stated -I see more cases of divorce caused by financial infidelity than I do from sexual infidelity.-

So how many people out there are actually lying to their spouses about money? The numbers are surprisingly high. In a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive, the following results were revealed:

Approximately 1 out of 3 people admit to lying to their partners about finances
One in Four people state that their partners have withheld financial information
Three out of Four people surveyed stated that they fight at least occasionally about money
One in Four adults believe that financial infidelity is worse than sexual infidelity
96% of the group surveyed reported that it is both partners’ responsibility to be completely honest about financial issues.

The results indicate that financial infidelity is a serious problem. As one can imagine, any form of dishonesty in a relationship can lead to serious trust issues. Those trust issues can ultimately break down the emotional connection needed to make a relationship last. The reality is that the effects of financial infidelity on a relationship are no different and oftentimes worse than sexual infidelity. If you are having a problem with being completely honest around your finances with your partner or are having problems getting over financial infidelity in your relationship, you should consider working with a financial therapist.

Nikiya Spence is a licensed psychotherapist, certified money coach, and speaker. Nikiya specializes in helping individuals and couples transform their relationship with money. Visit her website at www.solutionsoflife.com or call 770-638-7145 for a free 30-minute no obligation consultation.

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Transition from Military Life to Small Business Careers

Perhaps one of the most challenging career and employment situations imaginable takes place every single day when individuals serving in the military prepare to move from military service to a new career. This involves thousands of motivated government employees who at first glance should have absolutely no trouble in obtaining an appropriate job. It is hard to imagine any prospective employees who would have more motivation to work hard and succeed in whatever they do.

Despite initial appearances, military personnel are currently experiencing a high unemployment and underemployment rate. Perhaps because of this or outdated assumptions about the value of all forms of college education, the first step in military transition to business careers is often a decision to obtain a college degree. This can prove to be the right move in some cases, but it can also become an expensive mistake.

The difference between education and training is frequently misunderstood by many people, and such misunderstandings probably contribute to a disproportionate percentage of career choices focusing on educational institutions instead of more specialized (and much cheaper) career training programs. While advanced education has a special place for specific purposes and goals, it is simply not the best career choice in a surprising number of cases. One of the best possible illustrations of this dilemma occurs when someone is departing from the military. In this situation, education can appear to be the “easy” decision. But with more scrutiny, training frequently emerges as the “smart” decision.

Just as specialized business training is usually one of the most cost-effective strategies available to small businesses, the selection of a practical career training program will often prove to be a more cost-effective military transition alternative in comparison to other options that include lengthy and expensive university studies. It is true that the most viable and appropriate training choices will require some investigative time and effort to evaluate thoroughly. In large part this is due to the fact that colleges and universities have extensive marketing resources to advertise and persuade while the less well-known training opportunities are more of a “word of mouth” situation.

For example, one of the most effective career training situations devotes no resources whatsoever to advertising and lobbying. In this case the program leads to a small business finance consulting career. Because overhead is much less than the highly-capitalized universities, the cost of such services are understandably much less. Unfortunately it is not always true that you get what you pay for, so a prudent military transition will require due diligence from start to finish.

Stephen Bush has provided candid business advice to small business owners for over 30 years. He specializes in business negotiating and business proposal writing. Steve offers career training programs for small business finance consulting throughout the United States and Canada. He is a U.S. Navy veteran who works directly with individuals leaving military service and helps with the transition to a small business career.

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How To Handle A Bank Robbery

Unfortunately, bank robberies are all too common in the United States. Reports estimate that a bank is robbed roughly once an hour. Luckily, due to new banking practices, bank robberies don’t net nearly as much now as they did in years past, which can deter would-be criminals from targeting banks. However, it’s a good a idea to know what steps to take if you are caught in the middle of a bank robbery. All banks train their employees on how to deal with a bank robbery, but you, as a customer of the bank, should also know what to do should the occasion arise.

First, know that no banks carry as much money as they have in years past. They don’t keep vaults full of money like the banks pictured in movies, because it is simply not safe. In theory, that should make them less of a target. However, the time might come where you are caught in the middle of a bank robbery. First, don’t panic. Remember that your money is insured, so the only thing to worry about in the situation is your safety. Remember that the ultimate goal is to get the criminal out of the bank, so letting him have what he wants, as well as allowing the bank employees to do their jobs by enacting their protocol for robberies, is important. Remember that banks have safeguards put in place, like bank bags, that only one or two employees can access. This money may be safe by simply not having anyone in house to access it.

As for your job, do your best to look at the bank robber and try and remember his physical description, what he or she is wearing, their height and weight, as well as any other defining physical features. You might also be able to spot the type of car he or she is driving as well as a license plate. These things will all help when the police arrive at the crime scene. In most cases, the bank employees will comply with the bank robber for the safety of their customers and it is imperative that you do the same.
If going into banks makes you wary, take advantage of the outdoor banking kiosks available for you. You can even make cash and coin deposits at any time during the day or night using a zippered bank bag and a night deposit slot found on the outside of the building. All of these transactions can be done from the safety of your car and save you the hassle of going inside the actual building.

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Loan Modification Document Checklist

Home loan modification may be the best way to get out of delinquency and save your home. But promising as it is, a loan modification can only work if you do your part in the process. Reports from major lenders show that most loan modifications fail because people don’t comply with the requirements, particularly when it comes to paperwork. It may seem like a big task, but it’s not as complicated as it seems – and it’s always worth the effort to save your home.

Your home loan modification attorney can help you gather the documents you need to complete your application. To help you get started, here’s a list of loan modification documents required by most major lenders.

Hardship letter This is basically a letter explaining the circumstances of your default and how you have recovered. Make sure every claim can be backed up with solid evidence such as bank records, and don’t exaggerate or play down details. Your home loan modification attorney can help you draft your letter to meet your lender’s standards. Most lenders also require a photo ID and a copy of your social security card.

Proof of income Steady income is one of the main requirements for a home loan modification. Your bank will want to see proof that you’ll be able to make your payments once the loan is modified. The general requirement is two months’ worth of pay stubs and tax returns for the last two years, or if you’re self-employed, your latest IRS filing plus proof of two months’ worth of income. If you’re getting child support, pension, or other sources of income, you’ll need to provide proof of these as well.

Financial status Your bank will want to know how your current finances are, and whether you have assets other than your home. Provide bank statements from your current accounts, including checking and savings. If applicable, you can also submit statements from your 401(K), profit sharing plan, IRA, or retirement account. Investment accounts such as stocks and bonds can also serve as proof of assets. Your home loan modification attorney can help you determine which ones will be most valuable in your case.

Mortgage documents Most lenders will ask for your latest mortgage statement, as well as any recent correspondence you have received from them. If your mortgage payment doesn’t include insurance and taxes, you may need to provide these statements as well.

Other bills Not all lenders will require utility bills such as gas, electricity, phone and water, but it won’t hurt to put in some as well. These will give your bank an idea of your monthly expenditure, which in turn helps them find a suitable home loan modification plan. Other useful documents include garbage pickup bills, home insurance policies, and homeowners’ association dues.

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An Exchange Server Alternative For Small Business

For the business user, the main advantages to working in a company that has an exchange server are:

1. File sharing
2. Access to email from any configured computer
3. Contacts access
4. calendar syncrhonized and shared between all employees

Essentially it means the office worker can use any configured computer to access his or her files, emails and calendar. The company will often configure a laptop and provide remote access so the member of staff can also work from home or while travelling and still have complete access.

The problem with this kind of product when it comes to a small or mid sized company, is that it requires someone to manage it and there is a huge cost, in terms of both initial cost and ongoing expenses.

So if you manage a small business and you want your employees to have a high level of flexibility i.e. to be able to telework or while travelling, or even to hotdesk at the office, you will need an exchange substitute.

There are two alternatives which will offer you many of the features of Exchange without the expenditure.

The first is a hosted exchange server. The second is the Easy-Email synchronization solution plus file synchronization software.

A Hosted Exchange server is a great solution. You get almost all the advantages but you are spared the resource cost and management time. You simply pay according to the number of users. This allows for quick expansion so as the business grows you just increase a user.

Easy-Email is a fabulous alternative for small firms.
Its an email sync answer set out in the form of a series of guides that you, or an IT professional you hire, can follow. It will sync a users mail and contacts on their desktop, laptop, home computer, pda or netbook. In addition it will allow them to manage their email from any other computer via Gmail.

The Easy-Email solution is incredibly good value compared to any other alternative solutions It’s just $67 US for the Advanced Guide to Outlook and you can get all of your staff set up for this fee!
The disadvantage in comparison with exchange is that there is at present no shared calendar so you will need to use a google calendar or similar.

And in terms of shared files and folders its really simple. Set up Dropbox. Dropbox provides you with a system of shared folders that are all automatically sync’d via the internet but they are also stored on the computer so you dont have to be online to access the files. You can select which people have access to which folders and the first 2GB of storage space is free (and it’s very reasonable after that).

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Using Promotional Fish Bowls At A Trade Show

The old saying Never leave home without it applied to a credit card but it may as well have been about promotional fish bowls. These containers have so many functions, they are a must for the seasoned exhibitor. Storage, advertising, giveaway holders, lead capturersthey do it all and much more. Whenever you are looking for an inexpensive way to get noticed, pack these little dynamos.

Chances are, several marketing freebies are being taken to the trade show. USB drives, keychain hand sanitizers, and mini flashlights are a few of the hot items this year. Rather than having them strewn all over the table in the booth, keep them in fish bowl containers silk screened with the company logo. Attendees can easily grab what they want without spilling the other items onto the floor.

Having a few contests almost guarantees that your booth will be a trade show hit. Keep contest entries organized by having attendees place them in the fish bowl at the booth. As soon as they see the attractive container, they will associate your company with quality. These bowls come in many shapes and sizes and taking the time to personalize them with the company logo shows the business pays attention to every detail.

The whole point of exhibiting at a trade show is to increase sales. Keeping all those business cards organized is no easy task. As soon as you receive one, make some brief notes on the back regarding the conversation with the prospect. Store the cards in a lidded fish bowl behind the booth table. If booth contents are moved during the night or when packing up, others can identify the owner simply by looking at the logo imprinted on the side of the bowl.

Fish bowls are also excellent containers for advertising materials. Postcards and coupons are small and lightweight so the slightest gust of wind can make them fall off the booth table. Rather than picking these up every time someone walks by, store them in fish bowls and encourage people to grab a few when they visit the booth.

With promotional fish bowls packed in the exhibit booth shipment, exhibitors will never be searching for a container. These hold free promotional items, advertising, contest entries, and prospect business cards and the imprinted logo makes them look professional. Their durable plastic construction ensures they will be around as a trusty exhibit booth assistant for many years.

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Small Business Marketing Track Your Results And Save Money

Marketing is the keyword which makes businesses run, no matter what their running capital is. From huge energy companies to companies who sell sports goods, you always require a good marketing tool or a help to get your job done. Small business marketing is a tricky area and if the marketing is not proper, it can even kill your business.

This is where Ad trackers come to bail out and rescue small businesses. Advertising a small business with an Ad tracker helps you monitor your online advertising expenditure against your actual earnings and revenues from the website, in real time. This way you can know which ads produce results for you and which do not and hence choose ads accordingly.

This will undoubtedly help you market your small business in a better way by attracting the right traffic to your website. Let us see the other attractive ways by which you can market your small business for FREE.

Online free video sharing sites like YouTube.

Create a Jingle!

Use the jingle as your caller tune!

Ad tracking = Affiliate Marketing

Undoubtedly, a lot of money can be made from affiliate marketing, more precisely Ad tracking. People are making money and the very fact that they are making money by launching not-so-useful sites must wake you up and get running to get affiliate marketing tools to your benefit.

The catch lies in how smartly you choose your ads. For example, the most incentive oriented affiliate product might not bring in good revenues! It depends on the relevance of the product with your small business and also how the ad is being displayed on the site. It is not hard to imagine that flashy sites with some relevance will get clicked on first than those ad links which are in words only.

If you can use Ad trackers, you will benefit from the software and get more worth and return for your vested business. This can be found from a service provider with some monthly fees or can be purchased with a 2-3 year license or as the product comes with. The best part is that they keep their algorithms updated by synchronizing with their main server and thereby giving you the best results. This is handy tool to organize your small business especially if youre hosting advertisements for multiple affiliate products.

There are other ways to run a business than to just run it on pure gut feeling or intuitions. You may get lucky once, twice or even thrice, but will not be able to sustain a long run. Planning is therefore of prime importance and small business marketing with advertisement trackers can help you achieve the optimum.

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SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESS

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESS

About 33 % of consumers are not connecting with brands on social networks, according to a new report by interactive marketing firm Razorfish. Razorfish surveyed 1,000 consumers who reported both social media and ecommerce activity with the goal to find out how social media influences their purchasing decisions. 80 % were members of at least one social network and 40 % were active in two. -Social media has quickly become one of the most talked-about topics in marketing. We didn’t want this report to just be more of the same, so instead we took a different, more scientific approach to evaluating this phenomena and measuring its effects,- said Shiv Singh, VP and Global Social Media Lead at Razorfish. -Today, a brand’s actions speak louder than its words and pushing out messages is no longer enough to excite and engage consumers.- The question is now: How about you the small businesses and your social media activities? More than brand companies, small and medium business should step into social media marketing to expand your message and spread the word to the potential client, to make him informed, to make him interested and to make him a paid customer. To bother your targeted audience with outbound advertising messages is not enough in today’s times. The user out there has established some kind of personal advertising filter. Moreover he wants to find valuable information when he decides that he needs them, not when you decide to send him message through email marketing, radio or TV commercials, or call him by phone and disturb his daily doing. You need to build your credibility to address your marketing message. You need to be personal and authentic and to avoid sounding like an advertisement. Behelpfuland bevaluableofferrelevant content. This is the way how you as a small business cangain customer loyalty. – BE THE FLAME NOT THE MOTH! – Read more great posts like this one, visit -Blog Ad Monkey-. Stay tuned and subscribe to my blog viaRSSto get more great posts like this one. Your comments and ideas are welcome!

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