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Tips To Control Holiday Spending

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spending holiday control

Christmas time comes once a year. It makes many people happy with all the gift giving and merry making. Some of the happiest people during the holidays are retailers because of all the shopping that usually begins after Thanksgiving and ends after Christmas. For many people, the holidays are spent spending money for gifts, vacations, and parties. Spending your money is alright, especially if you have it to spend. The problem is when you spend money you don’t have. This is overspending, and we have tips below to help you keep track of your money this holiday season.

How Much Can You Spend?

To keep yourself from overspending, figure out how much you can spend on gifts, decorations, entertainment, and travel. Once you find out how much you can afford without sacrificing the necessities, it will be easier to shop for gifts, decorations, host parties, or travel during the holidays. You can think of this as your budget. Since you know the budget, it is now time to exercise discipline and stick to the amount.

Find Ways To Save

Bargains, sales, and discounts are amazing during the holiday season. Buying discounted items is actually a great way to save during the holidays. You can start early by making a shopping list of all the people you need to buy gifts for. Once sales like Black Friday occurs, you can then browse for gifts online or head down to the shops to find gifts on discounted prices, buy-one-take one or those with freebies which you can also gift to other people.

Resist Temptation

You want to be generous now, but remember you have to pay for it (literally) later so resist all temptation to overspend. If you allotted a certain amount for a person, stick to that budget. If the other sweater looked more gorgeous, perhaps you can find a similar one that is on sale. Find alternatives for gifts and stay within range of your budget rather than overspend.

Use Cash

Spending using your credit card can make you uncontrollable, and most of the time, you end up spending more money than originally intended. The problem with credit cards is that you can pay it at a later date and rack up interest. Being in debt due to overspending can take a long time to reverse. To avoid this, always use cash to purchase your gifts, decorations, entertainment, or travel essentials for the holiday. This way, you can control spending, and if you don’t have cash, you can’t spend.

Give Yourself Incentives

Give yourself incentive to stick to the plan. Reward yourself by indulging a little. For example, at the end of Christmas, total everything. If you did not overspend, treat yourself to something you really wanted, like that handbag or that cashmere sweater. You can also reward yourself with a massage or a trip to the spa. Just remember not to overspend on your treat too.

Be Flexible

If you find that you’ve overspent, don’t beat yourself up too hard. Instead of dwelling on your guilt, find ways to come up with money so that your credit card or wallet won’t suffer too much. Spending on credit is easy but paying it will not be. You can either come up with ways to cut overhead a little bit or find an extra job to offset the charges.

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Investing

Smart Insurance Questions To Ask An Agent

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insurance questions

Buying insurance is a tricky investment, and you should ask your insurance agent some important insurance questions to avoid surprises in the future. You should be confident about the utility of the insurance you are buying. Ask your broker some valid insurance questions. If they reply with confidence, you can take a call about buying the insurance policy. If the insurance broker only talks about the technicalities and avoids explaining the policy in simple terms, you should not purchase the policy through that person. You should not blindly trust your insurance broker and try to gather information from other sources. Getting on to details is vital and eliminates hassles in the future.

Ask about the broker’s qualification and experience

There are many fraud insurance brokers in the market. So, it is better to ask about the qualification and experience of the broker at the beginning. You can also ask them to show their license. Check their record about any professional malpractices.

Ask about his involvement during the claims

You should ask the broker how long it takes to process every claim. Check how much support they will provide during the claim process. Your purpose of buying insurance is to get the claims easily. Check how many successful claims they have processed so far.

Ask about the insurance company

Before deciding on how much coverage you need, you must ask proper insurance questions to know the credibility of the insurance company. Do not be satisfied with vague answers. You should know about the rating and public perception of the company at the first step.

Ask about the alternatives

Buying insurance is expensive. Insurance covers you from unprecedented risks. Try to know about the cheaper alternatives. Your insurance consultant can give you some idea about other options to save your business from risks.

Ask how the premium is calculated

People often overlook and forget to ask about the process of premium calculation. Your broker should inform you in an easy way how premiums are determined and how to improve your credit and get cheaper premiums for your policy.

How is your need determined

How much insurance you need is determined by two factors, how many dependents you have and how much debt you need to pay off. The insurance providers check your medical history and debts and then determine the amount of insurance.

Does the policy provide living benefits

You know about the death benefit of the insurance you are buying. You should also look for the control, liquidity, use, and equity in your insurance. Ask your broker about the kind of benefits the insurance can provide while you are living.

Ask about the returns

If you want to buy permanent life insurance policy, you have to wait for many years to get the returns. The 100% of your first premium goes into the policy, and it is used as a commission to the agent. Ask your broker, if your insurance can work as a long-term saving medium.

Ask about the relation between the death benefit and inflation

You buy insurance with a long-term plan. The amount insured can seem a huge amount today, but after some years, the position may not be same. Ask about if the death benefit changes with the proportion of inflation.

Ask about the clauses of the insurance

You should be aware of all the clauses of the insurance you are buying. What if you cannot pay the premium on time or miss it once and so on. Ask your agent about the duration of the grace period.

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5 Best Health Insurance Options For Startups

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Many startups and small businesses feel intimidated by the responsibility of providing the best health insurance for themselves and their employees. The fees are daunting and startups with limited capital are sometimes opting to forgo insurance coverage. But entrepreneurs are more at risk than ordinary employees. After all, many businessmen are fully invested in their company. However, a trip to the ER, an illness or a costly medical procedure can spell the end of the business. Here are options for health care insurance for startups and small businesses.

 

Individual Health Insurance

Individual health insurance can be with or without a defined contribution allowance. This plan allows employees to purchase their own individual health insurance coverage through the public marketplace or through a broker. Employees can select any carrier or any insurance policy and then access discounts on premiums by using individual health insurance tax credits.

Startups can contribute to their employee’s’ premium and other health expenses using the health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). They can contribute any amount up to federally defined limits.

Individual health insurance is an easy and cost-effective for small groups and startups to access insurance coverage that is priced out of the group health insurance.

 

Private Small Group Plan

Purchasing a private small group plan is another option for startups. Small groups can find lots of options on the private market place. There are also states that offer plans for small groups so you can find the best health insurance for you.

 

Co-Op

Joining a co-op is also a good option for startups. It gives you a boost in buying power and spreads the risks to a larger group. However, not all co-ops are structured the same way. It is important to find a co-op with good rates than the startup can get on the open market or SHOP. This depends on the market itself or regional underwriting insurance laws that dictate rates or the co-op itself.

 

SHOP Marketplace

The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace is a public state or federally run exchanges that sell insurance to small groups or startups. This is a good place to find the best health insurance for small groups with less than 50 employees if they can meet certain requirements. Different states have different laws. In Massachusetts for example, startups need to contribute at least 50% of the premium amount; businesses with 1-5 employees should enroll 100%, while those with 6-49, 75%.

If your business is eligible, SHOP gives access to small tax credits. Brokers affiliated with SHOP can help startups purchase the plan.

 

Private Health Exchange

Brokers offer startups private exchange option by working with a defined contribution. Small groups give employees a set contribution that goes towards a menu of plan options. The plan can be individual or group based. This can be beneficial since employees can choose a health plan supplied by participants. Startups and small businesses don’t need to forgo insurance. A licensed health insurance broker can be a good resource if you are looking for ways to minimize your risk and ensure the coverage of your employees. As for a broker that specializes in small group policies, individual or family policies to help you assess the different ways you can get health insurance for your business.

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Business

Insurance Coverage For Your Business

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If you are running a business, you must insure it. You should understand what kind of insurance coverage you need for your enterprise. If you have a consulting business, having a proper error and omissions (E&O) insurance is important. You should purchase a general liability insurance if you want to take the lease of a building. Small businesses have a lot of things to protect.

Property Insurance coverage

You have tangible things to protect, such as machinery, merchandise, etc. There can be natural calamities like flood or earthquake. There can be major fire accidents. A fire can destroy all the machinery, and you need a replacement. The insurance should specify in clear terms that how much coverage they will provide in case of any accidents. In general cases, the property insurance covers business building along with inventories, furnishings, etc. It can also provide coverage to equipment breakdowns and the cost of removing debris.

General Liability coverage

You must purchase a general liability insurance for your enterprise. This insurance covers your products, completed operations of the company and premises operations. If you rent a building and one of your employees falls, you will be covered. If you are into a restaurant business and someone gets food poisoning, you will be covered.

E&O insurance

This insurance is also called the professional liability insurance. It is important for the people who are in the consulting business. If your consultation does not meet your client’s requirement and your client sue you, you will be covered by the legal fees and defense costs.

Worker’s compensation insurance

If you have employees in your business, you need to purchase worker’s compensation insurance. The cost of this insurance depends on your residing state. You should remember that worker’s compensation insurance is subject to audit.

Auto insurance

If you own a vehicle for your company, you need to buy auto insurance. You should add a hired and non-owned automobile liability rider. Auto insurance is important if you face any accident when you or your employee use your vehicle during working hours.

Cyber Theft of your business bank accounts

Every year huge amounts of funds are stolen from different accounts through cyber hacking. You need some protection to save your business from this financial crisis. There is a new kind of insurance in the market to cover you from cyber theft and fraudulent wire transfers. Consult your insurance advisor to know more about the insurance policy.

Small business data compromise insurance

If you are running a small business, you need to protect your vital data from getting leaked. This insurance helps protect your company’s reputation of your customer’s personal data is stolen or your employee’s information is compromised from your business side.

If you have a home-based business, the homeowners’ insurance policy usually provides very limited coverage for tools and equipment damages and business related property. Consult your insurance agent to understand each point of insurance coverage. Decide which insurance is more appropriate for your company. You can also consider buying more coverage to protect valuable data.

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