Category Archives: Personal Finance

9 Times When Hiring an Attorney Makes Sense

Sometimes hiring an attorney isn’t warranted. For example, if you get a speeding ticket, you don’t likely need a lawyer. But when there’s a situation involving a legal dispute or a deal that needs to be made — complicated divorce, unfair job loss or a charge for driving while intoxicated — hiring an attorney for your legal defense can make perfect sense.

If you are unsure if you need to hire an attorney or whether you want to hire a particular attorney, many will offer a free consultation. Being able to communicate with a legal expert without worrying about having to come up with money is a plus. During the consultation, you can find out what type of case the attorney thinks you have and what the outcome might be. Here are 10 times when hiring an attorney makes sense.

1. You’re Confused About the Law

In certain legal situations, it’s important to have an experienced attorney representing you or you could experience legal pitfalls. “Even seemingly simple charges— assault or drug possession— can involve complex questions of constitutional rights,” according to the Matthew Hand law office. The more complex the issue you are dealing with, the more important it is to consider hiring an attorney who specializes in that issue, such as criminal defense or tax law attorney.

2. Other Parties Involved Have Retained Legal Representation

If the other parties you are involved with have legal representation, not having your own attorney can put you at a definite disadvantage. It will mean that you will have to represent yourself against an experienced attorney, which can mean that you may end up with a less-than-favorable outcome.

3. The Evidence or Testimony Needs to be Challenged

When you don’t have the benefit of legal education and training, there are certain aspects of your case, including evidence and testimony that you may not know to be aware of. An attorney is well-versed in the ins-and-outs of legal cases and will pick up on things that the average person might not.

4. You Need Advice About Your Options

When a legal case is complex, you will not only need advice from a practiced attorney to help you know how to plead in some cases, but an experienced lawyer can also help make the right choices during the actual legal proceedings.

5. A Plea Bargain or Settlement May Be the Best Route

An attorney with enough experience under his belt has either worked on a case with similar circumstances to the one you’re involved in or can make an educated guess about how it might turn out if it goes to trial. The attorney can advise you about things such as whether you might want to take a plea bargain or even settle and help with the negotiations if applicable.

6. Legal Contracts are Involved

Contracts stuffed with legal jargon can confuse anyone who is not used to reading that type of language. If you don’t comprehend some of the language, you won’t be able to make sense of the contract. An attorney is used to reading and interpreting contracts and can spot details that are cause for a second look.

7. Your Finances or Freedom are at Risk

If you are involved in a legal case that could have outcomes that would compromise your finances or your freedom, hiring an attorney is a very smart move. Do you want to end up spending time in prison or losing a substantial amount of money because you decided not to hire experienced legal representation?

8. Documents Have to be Filled Out and Filed

If you aren’t used to filling out legal documents, it can be a challenge to fill them out. Plus, they will likely have to be filled out by a deadline. If the documents are not filled out correctly or they aren’t filed on time, then it could cause issues with the outcome of your case.

9. You Need Experts or Witnesses to Help Win Your Case

If your case happens to go to trial, you may need the benefit of industry experts testifying on your behalf. That would mean you would have to research to find a suitable expert. Attorneys are in the unique position of having connections to these type of experts and can contact them for their help. Attorneys are also experienced in identifying witnesses that can help strengthen your case and obtaining their testimony — whether through the witness’ cooperation or by petitioning the court to issue a subpoena.

10 Ways to Nip Impulsive Spending in the Bud

Many Americans shop compulsively, which is probably why so many of us are looking for ways to curb our spending urges. You might have seen people stick their credit card in the freezer or leave their wallet at home when they go to the mall, just to avoid giving into the temptation of buying.

The problem with these techniques is that they don’t tackle the root of your impulsive spending problem: the way you’re thinking about shopping. If you think your spending issue is a short-term one, you can use 24Cash for a loan until your finances balance out.

Here are ten better ways to stop impulsive spending. The sooner you start implementing these techniques, the more control you’ll exert over your finances.

1. Don’t Quit Cold Turkey

As with any addiction, impulsive shopping is difficult to stop. Many people try to simply cut out the habit by taking away their access to money or promising not to buy anything for the rest of the month. However, studies have shown that “cold turkey” methods rarely work out for addicts.

Instead, focus on weaning yourself off of impulsive spending. Start by only allowing yourself to buy one thing on every shopping trip. Then, cut it down to one thing per week. Eventually, you’ll get to the point where you feel more in control of your buying habits. 

2. Make Yourself Wait

Don’t tell yourself that you can’t have that dress you spotted or those headphones you suddenly NEED. Instead, tell yourself that you must wait three days before you make the purchase. You’ll find that your desperation to buy the item may weaken over the waiting period. If it doesn’t, then you’ll be less likely to regret your purchase if you go back for it.

3. Beware the Traps of Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all of your other favorite apps aren’t trying to help you save money. If anything, they’re begging you to pour more money into your favorite stores. Between the regular pop up ads for sales and the influencers who advertise products, your social media feeds are encouraging your bad spending habits. Consider limiting your time on these apps to decrease your urge to buy.

4. Tell Others About Your Goal

If you love shopping with friends, let them know that you’re trying to cut down on your impulsive buying. Everyone needs an accountability partner when they start changing their habits, and this case is no different. Ask them to remind you about your goals whenever you’re tempted to throw something in your cart.

5. Remember That a Sales Isn’t an Excuse to Buy

Just because something is 40 percent off doesn’t mean it’s something worth buying. Don’t let big sale signs or Black Friday throw you off track. Sales are especially dangerous because they encourage people to buy impulsively rather than intelligently, so beware.

6. Make a Shopping List and Stick to It

Like I said in the first part of this list, going cold turkey probably won’t work. To cut down on your spending without actually halting all your shopping, make a selective list of things you’re allowed to buy during the next month. This can include anything from new boots to dinner plates, as long as the items are things you truly need.

7. Find Activities to Replace Your Spending

Many times, people wind up shopping because they’re feeling antsy or stressed. Instead of relying on retail therapy, find other hobbies that benefit your life. For instance, next time you feel the urge to shop online, go for a run or learn to cook a new meal.

8. Set Goals and Look Ahead

One way to learn to love saving is to work towards a big goal. Maybe you want to travel to Bali next year, or perhaps you want to save up for a nicer car. Every time you start to buy something online or in a store, ask yourself if you would rather put that money towards your goal. Often, the answer will be yes.

9. Ask Yourself Questions Before You Buy

There are three big questions you should ask yourself before you buy anything: (1) Do I need it? (2) Do I love it? (3) Is it a good price? If the item you’re considering doesn’t earn a “yes” to at least two of these three questions, then it’s probably not worth spending your money on.

10. Give Yourself One Splurge Day Every Now and Then

Instead of spending little bits of money here and there throughout the month (that eventually add up), give yourself one shopping budget and spend it all in one splurge day. This will allow you to cleanse your mind of shopping urges, but you’ll also still be in control of how much you’re spending on non-necessities.

Learning to shop purposefully, rather than impulsively, is difficult for most American consumers. However, doing so will radically change the way you view money and your lifestyle in general. Start today so that you can have a more meaningful, financially-stable future.

5 Penny Stocks to Watch in 2019

To earn money trading penny stocks, you must make smart decisions about which companies to invest in. The goal is to maximize your profits while minimizing your risk. This means looking for companies that are profitable and have strong business plans. With this in mind, here are five penny stock to watch in 2019.

Entravision Communications Co. (NYSE: EVC)

This California-based media company targets Hispanic audiences in the United States. It currently owns nearly 60 Spanish-language television stations and 48 radio stations in major Hispanic markets. The company strategically broadcasts in some of the fastest-growing Spanish regions, such as in California and Texas.

Why should you care? Entravision caters to a Latino population in the U.S. that’s growing rapidly. Currently, the Hispanic population in this country is 58.9 million, and it’s projected to reach 111 million by 2060. You can only expect Entravision to experience similar growth as its audience expands.

Container Store Group Inc. (NYSE: TCS)

The Container Store Group sells storage and organization products both in retail and online. Its retail side has expanded rapidly in the past couple of years, launching 80 new stores in the United States. This has helped the company experience 277 percent net income and 7 percent revenue growth during that time. The Container Store Group is making other smart financial moves, as well, such as paying off its debt. If you’re looking for penny stocks in a company that makes sound business decisions, look no further.

RiceBran Technologies (NYSE: RIBT) 

This small food-processing company develops and brings to market products made of rice bran for both human and animal consumption. As a global leader in rice-bran-derived products, it has reported consistent revenue gains. The company is also continuing to expand, having recently announced the purchase of Golden Ridge Rice Mills‘ facility in Arkansas, which is expected to add $20 million in sales. RiceBran Technologies has also bolstered its sales and certification team.

Central European Media Enterprises Ltd. (NYSE: CETV)

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Image via Flickr by Katherine Ridgley

This media and entertainment company in Central and Eastern Europe broadcasts to an audience of 40 million via 29 television stations. Warner Media bought into it in 2009 and has continued to increase its ownership percentage over the years — a good sign to potential investors. In the last four years alone, Central European Media Enterprises’ income has increased by 121 percent and shows no indications of slowing. Meanwhile, the company is working to reduce its debt

CorMedix Inc. (NYSE: CRMD)

This biotech company develops and brings to market pharmaceutical products and medical devices. It has several new products in development that could continue to boost its growth. One that investors should be excited about is Neutrolin, a medical device designed to prevent catheter-related bloodstream infections. The device is currently undergoing clinical trials for FDA approval. If this product makes it to market, stock values could rise significantly. Furthermore, the company currently has no debt.

If you’re looking for exciting penny stocks that have more potential upside than down, keep an eye on these five as they continue to experience growth and development.