Category: General Article

6 Credit Card Habits to Stop Today

It is so easy to fall into bad credit habits. Before you know it, a one-time exception quickly turns into a routine. In addition to damaging your credit score, bad habits can lead to a number of other devastating financial problems. To improve your credit score – or, better yet, avoid the situation – you should work to break this pattern of spending and debt now.

  1. Not keeping tabs on your credit card statements

With an overwhelming amount of bills via mail and email, it is easy to toss some aside to “get to later”. It really is important that you take some a time to review your credit card statements, however. In consistently keeping up with them, you can catch unauthorized credit card charges or billing errors and have them fixed quickly. So, the next time you glance at your balance and payment information, take an extra minute or two to go over your account activity also.

  1. Reaching for your credit card instead of your debit card

You should always avoid grabbing your credit card over your debit card. Why? Your debit card has direct access to the funds you need to make everyday purchases like groceries and gas. There might be situations where you do accumulate rewards using your credit card, but you should only take advantage of this if you plan to pay off your credit card balance every month.

  1. Paying only the minimum

It is very tempting to just pay the minimum each month, rather than sitting down and really figuring out how much extra you can afford to set aside for your credit card bill. Unfortunately, only paying the minimum will not help you make much progress, and (depending on the interest) you will probably pay more in financial charges than you need to.

  1. Habitually paying credit cards late

One late month, turns into another late month, which turns into six months of paying credit card bills late. If you have trouble remembering to pay early or on time, consider scheduling your payments a few days in advance.

  1. Applying for new credit cards you don’t need

Even though you already have credit cards, it is easy to fall for another low interest rate promotion or sign up bonus. They can be very inviting, but it is a slippery slope. New credit card applications hurt your credit score, and they provide opportunities to go into more debt.

  1. Buying what you can’t afford

One of the worst credit card mistakes of all is buying more than you can afford. The number one rule you should follow is, if you can’t afford to purchase it right then and there, then don’t buy it. Wait until you know you can afford it. You might enjoy the item at first, but the regret of having debt will not make the purchase worth it later.

Has bad credit affected more than your everyday personal life? Many entrepreneurs are surprised to find that their personal credit score limits their ability to secure … Read More

What Investors Should Know About Real Estate Note Buying

There are many options for investors to consider, when trying to diversify holdings. One trend that’s been gaining popularity is the buying of real estate notes. Before jumping in, however, it’s important to understand a little more about what this type of investment entails.

The 411 on Note Buying

There are many companies that make a business of buying notes, such as Amerinote Exchange, but that doesn’t mean individual investors can’t do it, as well. First, it’s important to understand that a note in these financial terms regards the promissory note that defines the terms of a loan and establishes the money to be repaid. The note, in real estate, transactions is just the promise to pay, but is also supported by the mortgage or the deed for the property.

When an investor buys the note, he also obtains the security instrument, meaning he holds the dead or other collateral. Essentially, the investor then becomes the lender, instead of the original financial institution. The investor often buys the note at a discount, making it a positive investment.

An Example of a Simple Note Buying Transaction

To understand this process a little better, it’s a good idea to broker a few of these transactions for other investors first. This helps you to observe first-hand how underwriting and closing processes are managed in the purchase of real estate notes. It may also help to look at a simple example of how buying a note benefits the investor.
On a transaction for a home selling at $120,000, the buyer would pay a down payment of $20,000, resulting in a $100,000 loan. In a note for this loan, there might be a 10% interest, creating terms for repayment that involve 360 payments at $877.57 each.

You can get the best deal on buying the note by waiting for the buyer to build up some equity, so suppose you buy the note after five years. At the time you buy the note, the balance left to be repaid is $96,574.32, but you will pay the lender $83,322.39. This allows for the possibility of earning 12% on your investment.

Conversely, if the borrower fails to make the payments, you can exercise the same rights as the original lender. You can opt to reclaim the property as your own, which means you have whatever had been previously been repaid, plus the property valued at $120,000.

Another option investors pursue is to buy just a portion of the note. They may pay anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 for a limited portion of the note’s repayment terms. For instance, you may buy the note for five years, collecting the payments within that time frame. At the end of the five years, the note reverts back to the original lender.
Of course, there is much more to learn about buying a real estate note and it’s important to understand how your local laws affect this type of investment. Once you learn about the process and fully understand the … Read More

The Importance of a Quality Accounting Department

No matter how large or small your company may be, it is critical that you have a dedicated accounting department. Ideally, it will be staffed by a person or group of people who understand basic accounting principles and how they apply to your business. Whether you choose to hire an in-house staff or decide to outsource this function, you won’t be able to survive without a good accountant on your company’s payroll.


Your Accounting Department Can Identify Wasteful Spending

An accounting department will do more than just create payroll checks and collect invoices. In addition to those tasks, it can take a detailed look at your company’s expenses to find ways in which the company may be wasting money. For instance, it may be paying workers more than the industry average or putting too many workers on the sales floor during slower times of the day. Identifying wasteful spending and making adjustments can save a business thousands of dollars or more per year.

Accounting Professionals Can Create Financial Records

If you are looking to get a bank loan or want investor capital, it will be necessary to reveal information about the company’s financial health. For instance, a lender may want to know how much money the business has made in the last quarter or what its future projections are. Investors may want to know how many customers the company has or how much it costs to acquire those customers. An accounting team can gather that information and put it into a format that lenders and investors understand.

You May Not Be Qualified To Be an Accountant

There is a good chance that you aren’t qualified to work as an accountant. While you may have basic math skills, accounting requires a sophisticated knowledge of accepted reporting and other best practices. If you oversee a growing company, it may not be enough to have an accounting software program helping to manage your books. Instead, it may be best to have a boutique consulting firm to oversee this department.

An Accountant Can Help With Compliance Issues

If your company operates as a corporation, there are likely monthly and quarterly forms that must be supplied to the government. Furthermore, sales and other taxes may need to be deposited regularly. Those who operate as a publicly traded company may need to submit regulatory filings with the SEC as well as state oversight agencies. While you may have an understanding of what your obligations are, it may still be easier to have a dedicated team ensuring that you are compliant at all times. Even a small mistake could result in a large fine or a tarnished public image.

A business is generally more successful when it has good people at key positions within the organization. Therefore, it is in your best interest as a business owner to hire a dedicated accounting team. This team can make it easier for you to focus on growing the business instead of worrying about financial or compliance issues.

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Extracting Audio from Video with Movavi Video Converter

Have you ever wanted to save just the soundtrack from a movie, or the music track from a video? Perhaps you’ve even considered trying to extract the audio from a webinar where the narrative was more than sufficient as an explanation.

The fact of the matter is unless you really need to watch the video, just saving the audio track can more than suffice in many situations. In fact it is actually better to do so, as it will consume less space and can be played on a wider range of devices. More importantly it isn’t as difficult as it sounds to begin with, not if you use Movavi Video Converter in any case.

All that you need to do to extract audio from MP4, MKV, AVI, WMV, MOV or any other video format using Movavi Video Converter is essentially convert it from a video file to an audio file instead. By doing so the software will simply save the audio track, and discard the video.

If you’d like to do that, go ahead and launch Movavi Video Converter and add the video file to the software by clicking ‘Add Media’ then ‘Add Video’ and selecting it. Another option is to drag and drop the video file into the main working area, which may be faster and more convenient if it is open in your file explorer.

Once the video has been added, you can click on the ‘Audio’ tab in the lower part of Movavi Video Converter’s interface. Under that tab you’ll see several options for different audio format categories, including MP3, AAC, M4A, FLAC, OGG, and more. It is up to you what format you wish to use, though MP3 is arguably the most common option. Regardless of the category you choose, you can then select a specific preset for that format depending on the bitrate (i.e. quality) that you’d like.

Before you start to extract the audio, click on the ‘folder’ icon next to the ‘Save to’ field and set the destination folder. After that you can click ‘Convert’, and sit back as Movavi Video Converter extracts the audio track from your video and saves it as an audio file with the format that you specified.

It should be noted that this method will extract the entire audio track from your video, but in some cases you may only want to extract specific parts. If that is the case you can easily use Movavi Video Converter to split the video into segments prior to converting it, and delete the parts that you don’t want.

Similarly there are other features in Movavi Video Converter that will let you create animated GIFs, enhance the quality of videos, grab screenshots, merge clips together, add captions, and more. Although these features aren’t required to extract and save the audio tracks from your videos, they may come in handy in other situations and you should try them out if you have the time to do so.… Read More

Visual Merchandising Ideas for Your Store

If you own a retail store, your space should also act as an efficient “salesperson”. By using visual merchandising, you can increase your revenue, optimise and add aesthetics to your store. You can use the products you sell and make them visually stimulating. You can highlight products to lure your consumers into buying them.

What is visual merchandising?

This is related to anything that can be seen by customers outside or inside a store. This includes decorations, displays, signages, and layout of the space itself. Its main aim is to get potential customers to come in the store and spend their money on merchandise.

Start from the outside

Make use of the window display to make your store more appealing from the outside. This will make the customers think that your store has what they want or what they are looking for. You can use patterns or colours. If you have a boutique, display the latest trends in fashion. You can use mannequins and dress them up to show potential customers your products.

The five senses

Yes, it is important to make a visually stimulating display, but do not forget “sensory branding”. This creates a multi-sensory experience for your customers.

  • Sight. The possibilities here are endless. You can arrange your merchandise in a way that it will be visually appealing to your customers. You can also use a TV Kiosk to show a presentation of the products you sell.
  • Touch. Let your consumers try out the things you sell. Let them feel and touch the items you sell.
  • Sound. The music playing in your store can have a great effect on the behaviour of your customers. If you play mellow music, it will slow them down. This will cause them to browse your items more. It also shows who your target customers are. For a store that plays the latest pop hits, their target customers might be teenagers.
  • Taste. This can be useful if you are selling consumables. Give your customers a taste test of the products you sell.
  • Smell. This is actually the most emotional and powerful among the senses. It has the ability to trigger memories and affect your customers’ behaviour. Find the right aroma to diffuse in your store to create the perfect ambiance, so that your customers can remember your brand.

Use every inch of your space to make your store appealing to your customers. Visual merchandising is versatile and multifaceted. There are a million ideas out there that can help you. Do not just stick to one idea. Change your displays from time to time, so that every time your customers come in your store, they always see something new and interesting. You can also ask help from someone who is an expert in the field of visual merchandising if you do not know how to start.

Image: Pixabay.com

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