Tips

Daily Financial Advice Mallard 2-22-2014

Daily Finance Advice

Daily Financial Advice Mallard 2-22-2014

If you can’t afford a cab ride home you can’t afford to go out drinking.

It being Saturday and all be wise with your money and with your safety. If you ever drink please make sure not to drive. As well if you are worried about not being able to afford a cab after drinking then you shouldn’t go out drinking in the first place. Take a weekend off from partying. Your wallet will thank you and so will your head.

Daily Financial Advice Mallard 2-21-2014

Daily Finance Advice

Daily Financial Advice Mallard 2-21-2014

If you are unsure if you can afford something you can not afford it.

Simply put if you have ever questioned whether or not you can afford something it is best to not buy it. Instead you should wait one week and see if you still want it. If you still can’t afford it then do not buy it. You do not want to take on debt especially credit card debt if you do not need it.

How do I Pick My Insurance if I Have a Choice at Work

Choosing a health plan at work can be confusing and often overwhelming. The specifics will vary with each employer, but there are ways employees can evaluate their options to find their best mix of cost and coverage.

Picking Insurance

Cost
Cost for the employee falls into two categories:
1. Up-front premiums.
2. Charges at the time of service.

The premium is the amount taken out of each paycheck for the employee’s share of the insurance company’s charge for the plan. Most employer plans are designed so that premiums are deducted pre-tax, meaning the employee saves on federal income and Social Security taxes and possibly also state income taxes.

Charges at the time of treatment are the out-of-pocket amounts patients must pay to receive medical services. Co-pays, deductibles, and co-insurance can vary a lot depending on the chosen plan and services used. In evaluating this factor, the employee must remember that, under healthcare reform, any service designated by the federal government as preventative should be provided at no charge to the patient.

The cost factor in choosing a plan often comes down to balancing higher premium cost against lower charges for treatment and vice versa. But this relationship between premiums and out-of-pocket does not always hold because of the variable of coverage.

Coverage
Depending on plan design, coverage will vary among plans in multiple aspects:
1. Is a service covered at all?
2. Is there a cap on the service (number of visits, frequency of tests, etc.)?
3. How much flexibility does the patient have in choosing the provider or opting for a procedure?
4. How often are referrals and preauthorizations required?

Don’t assume a service is covered by all plans just because it is covered by one. If an individual plans to use a particular service, she should review all the plans she is considering to make sure coverage is available for that service.

Perhaps the service is covered but the plan puts a limit on the number of visits. The employee should compare any such limits with his anticipated use of the service. If the plan will not cover his full utilization, the employee must determine if, for him, the extra out-of-pocket expense is worth the service or if another plan is the better approach. Depending on the employer, the employee might also have options such as a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), a mechanism for the employee to set aside pre-tax dollars to use for any medical expenses not covered by insurance.

As a general rule, the more flexibility the patient has to choose doctors and services without getting a referral or preauthorization the higher the premium cost. Plans can range from the HMO, which requires all medical services be arranged through a primary care physician, to a traditional indemnity plan, which places almost no restrictions on where the employee can seek care. The employee must look at her own situation to decide how much choice and flexibility she is willing to pay for relative to the other factors.

Five Smart Financial Moves if You’re Starting a New Job

Making the switch to the new job is often an exciting experience,one where the new challenge and and new opportunities help make one look forward to reporting to work. But before everything is done and dusted, there are a number of steps or precautions that you need to ensure are in place before you start off on a new job.

Financial Moves Before a New Job

Taxes

You need to make sure that your job takes into consideration the tax requirements of whichever area you are working in, so that you do not get a rude awakening when calculating your net income. This is important because apart from federal taxes, taxes may vary from state to state in the United States or if you are working abroad. The methods that the firm uses when filing returns is also important, so that your federal mandatory earnings may not be misplaced.

Benefits

You need to take into account what benefits accrue to you, and how these affect your net income and your standard of living. These of course should include health insurance, housing and transportation allowances, meals as well as allowances that ease the execution of your job, like travel allowances.

Pension Fund Schemes

You should always query what schemes are in place in terms of pension or saving schemes, as these vary from work place and are critical to securing your future livelihood as well as your future finances. Sometimes firms develop their own schemes which have slightly higher returns and encourage their employees to invest in these schemes and it is aspects like these that one should look out for. Firms also work closely with different schemes that offer them preferential rates. You may want to examine these options as well.

Direct Personal Savings

Despite all official saving schemes that one has in place, one would wisely have a way of putting aside a nest-egg of sorts. This may be in the forms of direct remissions from your salary to that particular savings account that you put aside for a rainy day. When you are starting on that new job, try and ensure that this practice, if it has been in place, is maintained, or if it hasn’t, then now would be a good time to start.

Credit Management

In a society or economy that thrives on deferred payments, managing your credit is an important aspect of daily financial management. When you start on a new job, ensure that pending credit payments can be servicing in a planned and systemic manner, one that helps keep interest payments from accumulating as well as ensuring your credit rating remains good.

Several other aspects of financial management come into play when starting a new job but these five should at least get you on the way to making the transition to financial security significantly easier.