Managing Personal Finances Online

Gone are the days of receiving bank statements in the mail, having to drive to the ATM to check your balance and writing checks at the grocery store checkout. Today’s consumers have access to anything and everything related to their money right at their fingertips.

Using Banking Websites

Any respectable banking institution has a website and a mobile app where one can login and view account information, make payments and transfers, even deposit checks electronically. Of course, these modern conveniences do come with their set of issues and concerns and having to remember multiple user names and passwords for each of your online accounts is one of them. Plus, you still don’t get to see the full picture of your finances by simply checking each of your accounts individually. Thankfully, now there is an entirely new set of tools to help you see the true bottom line!

Free Money Management Apps

Mint, Personal Capital and Empower are just a few of the web-based personal financial management services available to consumers free of charge. They allow you to see all your accounts in one place, including checking, savings, credit cards, investments, mortgage, bank and car loans, even your Paypal balance. You can also add such items as real estate property and vehicles you own. Doing so will allow you to see your true net worth by subtracting all your debts from your assets.

Budgeting Made Easy

Another great feature offered by these money management tools is budgeting. The tools come with some preset budget amounts and categories such as groceries, restaurants, coffee shops, gas, clothing, and entertainment, but the feature is entirely customizable. You can create new categories and adjust the budget amounts allocated to each category. Easy-to-read graphs show you at a glance where you are spending-wise compared to the preset budget for the month. Other useful charts highlight your credit card vs. cash ratio, and overall income vs. spending for the month.

Other Benefits

The apps will also remind you of upcoming bill due dates, and allow you to set up other types of notifications that you may be interested in receiving. You may also see tailored offers sprinkled amongst your financial information, and even though they may become annoying at times, keep in mind that advertising is what feeds the developers of these money management services and allow them to offer the tools free of charge. Additionally, you may actually find some of these offers useful – for example I learned about Stash, which is a great investment tool, through an offer in my Mint app.

Setting Up Your Money Management Service

The initial set up of the tool would require a little bit of extra effort as you will need to add all your accounts by providing the name of the bank or financial institution, and the corresponding user name and password. These login details get saved however, so going forward you will only need to remember the password for the tool. This is one of the best aspects of utilizing a money management service.

While Mint offers both a web-based and a mobile app version, other tools such as Empower exist solely as apps for your smart phone. Keep this in mind when choosing the money management tool that would best fit your financial goals and lifestyle.

Forex Trading Platforms Compared

As a trader, there are a few factors that help determine whether you will be successful or not. Some of these factors are the forex broker that you use, the amount of leverage you use, your skill and expertise, and the trading platform that you use. The most common trading platforms are those from Metaquotes. This article will compare Metatrader 4 and Metatrader 5.

Metatrader 4

MT4 was the first product from Metaquotes. It is offered by most brokers and it can be accessed through a mobile application, a desktop application, and a web application. It is an easy-to-use platform that has several important features like inbuilt indicators, access to expert advisors, and access to strategy testers. The MT4 is commonly used by new unsophisticated traders.

Metatrader 5

This is the next version created by Metaquote. It is an advanced platform that has additional features than the MT4. Some of the features it has are the following.

First, it has more timeframes than the MT4. The MT4 comes loaded with nine timeframes while the MT5 comes loaded with 21 timeframes. The additional timeframes are very important because they help you do better analysis.

Second, the MT5 comes loaded with more technical indicators. These are usually more advanced indicators and are usually recommended to more experienced traders. Some of the indicators found in MT5 and not in the MT4 are: Adoptive Moving Average, Fractal Adaptive Moving Average, Triple Exponential Moving Average, and Average Directional Movement Index Wilder. To use these indicators in the MT4, you have to download them and export them to the platform.

Third, the MT5 comes loaded with the economic calendar. The calendar is a schedule of the economic data that is expected to be released in a given day. Traders use the data in the economic calendar to determine the performance of the economy. Examples of data found in the calendar are employment numbers, inflation numbers, sentiment numbers, and manufacturing and industrial numbers. The MT4 does not come with a calendar.

Fourth, the MT5 has more ways to start pending orders. A pending order is one that directs a broker to initiate a trade once a certain price is reached. The MT4 comes with four pending orders such as buy and sell stop orders and buy and sell limit orders. The MT5 comes with these order types and two others. These are buy stop limit and sell stop limit.

Fifth, the MT5 comes with the ability of setting up a virtual platform. The virtual platform is mostly important for advanced traders who want to use their algorithms. In the virtual platform, you can select your ideal server and pay a small fee to store your algorithms. This service is available in the MT4 platform but the steps to access it is a bit longer.

While the MT4 and MT5 have their differences, they are all known to be very good for new and advanced traders. This is because of their popularity and their universality. The latter means that even if you move from one broker to another, you won’t have problems trading because you already understand how to trade using the platforms.

Is It Possible to Get A Personal Loan with Bad Credit? Understanding Your Options

If you have bad credit, you may be wondering if it’s possible to get a personal loan from a bank. The answer is more complex than a simple “yes” or “no”. In this article, we’ll help you understand if it’s possible to get a personal loan if you have bad credit – and the other alternatives that may be available to you.

Getting A Personal Loan with Bad Credit Is Usually Very Difficult

Bad credit usually will prevent you from getting a personal loan – at least, at the majority of traditional banks and credit unions. Why? Well, it’s simple. Your credit score determines your lending risk. To simplify things dramatically, a low score means that you have a history of failing to repay your debts. A high score means that you rarely – if ever – have had trouble repaying what you owe in a timely fashion.

Lending risk is very important for personal loans, even compared to other loans like mortgages and auto loans. This is because personal loans are unsecured. Unsecured loans are issued without any kind of collateral. This means that, if you default on the loan, the bank has very few options to get their money back.

This is in contrast to a secured loan, like a mortgage or a car loan. If you default on your mortgage or car payment, the bank can take your home or your car, and recoup most of their money. To boil all this down, what this means is that individuals with a bad credit score (600 or less) will have a tough time getting a traditional personal loan. There is no collateral to secure your loan, and because you have a high risk of not repaying, you’ll either be denied outright, or have to pay a very high interest rate.

What Other Options Are There for Getting an Emergency Loan with Bad Credit?

If you really need an emergency loan with bad credit, there are a few options that you can use.

  • Payday loans – Payday loans typically have high fees compared to bank loans. However, they are easier to qualify for, as you can usually get payday loans online with any credit score, as long as you are employed and have proof of income.
  • Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) – If you have a mortgage, you can take a loan out against your home equity. You can usually do this even with a sub-par credit score, because your home’s equity works as collateral, securing the loan.
  • Credit card cash advances – Most credit cards allow you to take out a cash advance against your line of credit. However, these carry high APRs, and you will have to start paying interest on them as soon as you take them out.
  • Merchant cash advances – If you run a business, a merchant cash advance may be an option. A merchant cash advance uses your credit card sales as collateral. You get a lump sum loan, and the lender gets a set percentage – usually 3-10% – of your credit card sales paid to them each day, until the loan and its fees have been paid off.

Know Your Options for A Loan with Bad Credit

While it is possible, it’s not easy to get a traditional loan with bad credit. So, make sure you understand what other options you have, and you’re sure to make the right choice for your particular situation.

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