Book Review – Financial Peace Revisited

Dave Ramsey’s last major book, “The Total Money Makeover”, has been a best seller for several years. It is his best book today. Also, it is one of the best book on personal finance out there. Prior to that book, the book, “Financial Peace”, was created as a self-published book. Then, it became a best seller and has been revised and revisited.

There is something soothing and calming about the title,”Financial Peace”. Everyone has a financial life- whether good or bad. Everyone (whether they care to admit) wants to have peace in their financial life. As mentioned on a constant basis by Dave Ramsey, personal finance is more personal than finance. There are a lot of emotions (and some logic) conjured up when you discuss personal finance.

It seems that most people handle their personal finance the same way they handle everything else in their life. There is a lot of complications, confusions, even negligence, indifference, good intentions, and other emotions and mixed feelings.

This book addresses many of those issues especially how money affects our relationships (and how our relationships affect our handling of money). The principles may seem simplistic such as KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)- but they are crucial in order to succeed in your personal finances. The principle of simplicity (or KISS) is primarily an issue of dealing with cash and not credit. When we live on a cash basis, then we do not have to worry about interest rates, finance charges, fees, etc. We have simplified our lives to the better. As Dave Ramsey would say, we do not have to worship at the altar of the almighty FICO score. This is also applicable to co-signing loans. When we co-sign a loan, we pretty much are taking over the burden of paying someone else’s debt. By keeping our personal finances simple, we are respecting the other person as much as ourselves.

Another key principle the book discusses is the power of contentment. Contentment empowers us to restrain from spending on things or stuff that we do not need or even care about. Being contented would allow you to have less stuff that you do not need but have more cash. The book discusses this principle extensively and vividly in order to allow you to succeed in your personal finance.

Also, money affects our relationships. It is critical and crucial to not borrow from anyone or anything especially (and most especially) from friends or family members. The close the relationship; the more crucial it is to not borrow from that person. Owing someone money changes all the dynamics of that relationship.

The Primary Cause Of Business Financing Frustration

Finding proper business financing is not easy at the best of times for most small and medium sized business owners and managers.

There are a number of reasons that collectively explain why the business financing market can be so difficult to understand and navigate.

But probably the single biggest reason is the lack of useful information about how the business financing market actually works.

Business financing information and education sources predominantly come in two forms: 1) Text books; 2) Major bank advertising.

If you’ve ever read through a educational finance text book or taken a business financing course, you already know how difficult it can be to apply the theories, principles, and strategies to a small or medium sized business.

Our formal education system provides limited information as to how the market place works, how to plan for financing requirements, how to manage periods of growth, decline, transition, start up, etc.

Sure academic books and courses can go through all these areas in great detail, but is the information practical, real world, something you can relate to and apply yourself as a manager or owner of a small or medium sized business?

In most cases, the answer is a resounding NO.

Most finance text books speak to big business financing dynamics that are not easily transferable to small and medium sized business scenarios.

Outside of the formal education system, the next great source of business financing information is the information provided by the major banks, which they tend to make available to you by the boat load through their broad based marketing campaigns.

Unfortunately, the information by itself seldom helps you determine if a particular institution would be able to provide you with financing, or what would be required to qualify for a loan.

The good news is that business financing sources continue to grow in numbers as more and more lenders carve out a particular piece of the market to service.

In order to take advantage of these alternatives, you need to have a solid approach in place when seeking business financing.

Here’s a short list of things to consider

>>> Develop a solid, ongoing, understanding of both your personal and business assets, income, and cash flow.

Regardless of the business financing model, these elements will always come into play to some degree.

Being able to demonstrate a solid understanding of your business financials is also an indication of your ability to manage the underlying business.

>>> Monitor and manage your personal and business credit.

Small and medium sized business financing is focused on both personal and business credit histories.

Regular reviews of both personal and business credit reports from the major credit reporting agencies are important to avoid errors and credit practices that can severely damage your borrowing power.

>>> Develop your marketing position.

Yes, seeking business financing is a marketing exercise.

When applying for business financing, you’re marketing your business to lending sources and they in turn are marketing their business financing programs to you.

Think of the lender as a customer to better understand what they’re looking for. Then, develop a business proposal that addresses all their potential needs and concerns.

>>> Research Lending Sources

There are lots of business financing sources. But there is also lots of variation in the types of business applications each one is prepared to consider.

Broad based lenders rely on credit history and net worth. As you get more specific in terms of financing application and industry, lender programs become more narrow and can be harder to locate.

You need to consider things like industry, sector, and geography when looking for business financing sources.

Financing consultants and business loan brokers can be an excellent source of information to aid you in this process.

>>> Qualify The Lender

Before you make a formal application, find out if the lender has the programs and lending track record to meet your specific needs.

Too often, the lender is doing all the qualifying.

>>> Compare your options

Depending on the scenario, there can be several financing strategies that could work for your business.

Make sure you take the time to compare before making a decision. The extra time spent could save you considerable time and money in the long run.

>>> Start Today

Regardless of what your business financing needs are right now, you should regularly invest time staying on top of your business financials, monitoring your credit, and researching financing sources that fit your industry and potential future requirements.

When the time comes to acquire capital, your proactive efforts can make all the difference in getting the capital you need with terms and timing that are acceptable to your business.

What You Need To Know About Student Loans and Finances

Often, when a student starts to prepare for college, they do not realize what it entailed, and how overwhelmed they will be before the process is over.

The student loan process is a long and arduous process that most often will have to be repeated for multiple loans. Choosing the right loans and lenders will take a lot of time and research.

Government loans are offered to combat the rising cost of education. They realize that students and families cannot afford college on their own, and that it would be too much of a hardship to try.

Federal student loans given to students with the contract terms stating that the loans will be repaid when the student graduates from college. The standard repayment time is up to ten years.

Monthly payments are generally what the student pays, and the amount is in accordance to their income. There are some repayment plans that will raise their payment every couple of years because in the real world, raises and promotions occur frequently.

Keep in mind that with federal student loans comes a very high interest rate. This rate is figured into the loan repayment and over a ten-year period, can far exceed the original loan amount.

Other types of student loans include a parent loan and a private student loan. A parent loan is just as the name indicates. The parent or parents may borrow money to cover tuition for college, however one of the major drawbacks to a parent loan is that once the loan has been approved, the repayment process starts immediately.

A private student loan involves the student applying to a bank or lending institution. Once approved the student can attend college worry free until he or she graduates. The repayment process for a private student loan is only six months however in some instances, it can be extended for up to one year at the discretion of the lending institution.

With the rising costs of higher education growing everyday, students and their families need to know what they are facing when it comes to student financing. It is crucial that you do as much research and ask as many question as necessary for you to be comfortable with your choices.

The Best Car Insurance Rates

If your car insurance is due for renewal and you are considering buying another policy then this article will provide you with important facts that you should know about. Car insurance policies are getting increasingly expensive and you should do all that you can to reduce your costs. How much you have to pay for your car insurance is dictated by a variety of factors as they apply to you and your vehicle.

In this article we will examine coverage limits, your age, gender and marital status, your location and insuring other household members. All of these factors will have a great influence on how much you will have to pay for your policy.

Coverage limits are generally dictated by the price that you are willing to pay for your insurance. A higher level of coverage will generally result in higher premiums. The best way to find a good value policy is to comparison shop. Nowadays it is generally accepted that the best way to do this is by using a car insurance comparison website.

Your age, gender and marital status will have a great effect on the auto insurance rates that you are offered. Insurers rate drivers using a variety of criteria, if you are a young single male driver you will usually have to pay higher rates. If you are a middle-aged female married driver then your rates will be lower. Insurers calculate the best car insurance rates for you by comparing levels of risk. Those groups which are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident have to pay correspondingly higher rates.

Location plays an important part in deciding how much your premiums will cost. Drivers who live in an urban environment will usually pay more than those from a rural area. This is because drivers who live in cities and heavily populated areas are more likely to be involved in an accident, or to have their car stolen or vandalized. Insurers generally offer better rates if you’re able to demonstrate that you keep your vehicle in a garage at night. You may also be able to improve the security arrangements of your automobile by fitting an alarm, immobilizer and steering wheel lock.

Insuring other household members will have an influence on the cost of your policy and the best car insurance rates that you offered. If you have teenage family members living with you and they are added to your policy, then your costs will increase. This may still work out cheaper than if your teenage driver were to have a separate policy in their own name.

In conclusion, there are a variety of different factors which can affect your ability to be offered the best insurance rates. Some of these are coverage limits, how old you are, whether you are male or female and whether you are married or single. Your rates will also be affected by the area where you live and whether other household members are included in your policy.