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Financial Tips Articles

Help the Poor While Getting a Return on Your Money with MicroPlace

August 21, 2009 | Financial Tips | Videos | No Comments

Want to put your money to work while helping poor people around the world?  Then you should consider MicroPlace (a wholly-owned subsidiary of eBay Inc).  Microplace, launched in 2007, is a website that enables everyday people to invest in the world’s working poor.  (See CBS Evening News Video Clip Below).

Video: The World of Micro-Loans | CBS Evening News

A simple loan of a $20 can allow a poor woman to start a business and work her way out of poverty. In most countries, organizations that function like banks make loans to the poor. However, these organizations need funds to lend to the poor. Your investment helps fund these organizations while making a return on your money. It’s a win-win scenario because your help fight poverty and get your money back with interest!

Microfinance is one of the most effective poverty alleviation tools around because:

  • Microfinance is a hand- up not a hand out. Empowering people to help themselves is an effective way to fight poverty.
  • When you give to charity you give your money away. When you invest your money, it compounds while it is invested and is available to reinvest at maturity. You will always have money to help a poor person start a business

 

How you can invest as little as $20:

  • Open an investment account (just like at Schwab or another broker)
  • Use the search tools to find an investment on our site
  • Pay with either PayPal or your bank account
  • Receive your interest payments and your money at maturity back into your PayPal or bank account

 

Your loan will:

  • Help a poor person start a business and work her way out of poverty
  • Enable an institution helping poor people expand its business
  • Participate in a solution that can help alleviate global poverty by helping people help themselves!

 

For more information visit MicroPlace.com.  Note: Another site offering the same service is Kiva.org.

Debt Free U Helps College Students with Finances and Education

August 19, 2009 | Financial Tips | Press Releases | No Comments
debt-u-free

College students and young consumers across the country now have access to education and financial tools designed expressly for their needs. This 100% free, non-commercial portal launched today, just in time for the start of a new school semester.

Debt Free U empowers young adults to master money management during this critical stage in their lives. With a full range of interactive tools and practical information on the issue that matters most to young consumers, Debt Free U helps college students face tough financial decisions with confidence. Online calculators, an extensive resource guide and blogs with the latest information help students cut through the financial jargon and get clear, simple information on how they can control their debt.

Additionally, Debt Free U established social media websites including Facebook, Myspace and Twitter @DebtFreeU, to establish ongoing dialogue with the students and young consumers utilizing the site’s resources.

Now more than ever, students need education and support to establish smart money management habits. According to a national study conducted by Sallie Mae, one of the nation’s largest student loan providers, the average college student carries more than $3,000 in credit card debt on at least four credit cards, and close to one fifth of seniors carry balances of more than $7,000.

For more information visit DebtFreeU.org.

Track and Analyze Your Expenses with Texthog

August 17, 2009 | Financial Tips | No Comments
texthog

If you are looking for a really simple real-time expense reporting application then consider using Texthog. Texthog is a free simple online application that allows you to track your expenses wherever you are.

The service is designed to simplify tracking and analyzing business expenses while traveling.  No need to wait to get back to the office with a ton or receipts to go through.

Texthog recently added the ability for users to post transactions to their Texthog account via Twitter.

The service allows you to:

  • Send transactions via SMS and Email
  • Tags and Categories help organize transactions
  • View trends and generate expense reports
  • Set up Budgets and Reminders to Stay on Track
  • Track expenses among large and small groups
  • Export Data to Quickbooks, Excel, and Quicken

 

For more information visit Texthog.com.

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Use Thrive to Manage and Improve Your Financial Health

August 14, 2009 | Financial Tips | 1 Comment
thrive

Thrive is a free online financial advisory service designed to help those in their 20s and 30s monitor, manage and improve their Financial Health.

With its patent-pending personal financial advisory engine, Thrive bridges the gap between the currently available online money management tools and expensive face-to-face meetings with financial planners. Thrive members can get their finances in order, get on a budget, and get financial advice personally tailored for their own lifestyle and goals.

Thrive sets itself apart by offering members a complete understanding of their entire financial lives, assessing their Financial Health Score and helping them improve it by providing step-by-step advice. Through Thrive’s simple online interface, members can reduce the clutter in their financial lives by gathering all of their credit card, checking, savings, retirement and investment accounts in one place.

Thrive’s proprietary financial advisory engine analyzes 11 dimensions of a members financial life, providing personalized advice to help them make better decisions for a financially secure future.

Video: Thrive, Watch Your Money Grow at JustThrive.com

For more information visit JustThrive.com.

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Free Detailed Financial Planning Software by Voyant

August 3, 2009 | Financial Tips | Videos | 1 Comment
VOYANT

Online financial planning tools have much improved over the years.  No longer are they just cookie-cutter plans, one size fits all.  One recent entrant is Voyant (www.planwithvoyant.com) which provides detailed financial advice and best of all, it’s free.

The three financial sites aren’t designed to replace your financial planner; however, they can provide general ideas to most investors and benchmark your progress without having to pay money to a financial planner.

Voyant is a do-it-yourself financial planning solution that puts consumers in direct control of their financial health. Voyant helps people understand the big-picture impact of life-changing events and their long-term financial implications; from the birth of a child to the early retirement of a spouse. Unlike one-dimensional personal finance software, expense aggregators and budget calculators, the product features interactive forecasts, “what if” scenarios and online collaboration tools that give consumers more control and customization than traditional financial planning options. Voyant is a free, Web-based Internet application that allows users to manage up-to-the-minute plan information from the convenience and privacy of their home, office or favorite coffee shop.

Voyant features include:

  • Timeline – defines key life stages and events; foresees important financial obstacles and opportunities.
  • Simulations/Illustrations – demonstrates the impact of life-changing events such as birth, marriage and retirement; illustrates products and services such as life insurance, investments and loans that support personal financial goals.
  • Real-Time Snapshots – compares current account balances to established goals; defines and tracks action items.
  • Collaboration – supports secure communication with designated community members including friends, family, employers, and professional advisors.
  • Data Mining/Analytics – recommends areas for potential improvement based on established industry norms such as fees and coverage rates.

 

A core component of Voyant is Voyant Community, a fully-featured social networking platform that creates compelling opportunities for dialogue between users and their friends, family and trusted advisors. With Voyant Community, people can chat online, join a forum and interactively (and anonymously) share plans with others – including members of affinity groups with similar interests, concerns and questions. Whether someone is a small business owner considering expansion, or an adult child supporting aging parents, Voyant helps users exchange valuable advice and information that improves outcomes and mitigates the risks of unforeseen events. And if an individual needs expert counsel, Voyant’s Advisor Connect feature provides a direct link to a wide selection of licensed professionals.

Video: CEO David Kaufman Presents Voyant

Two other free financial websites to consider are SimpliFi and ESPlannerBasic.

BudgetPulse.com Offers Free Personal Finance Software

July 23, 2009 | Financial Tips | Videos | 3 Comments
budgetpulse

If you are looking for free personal finance software then you should consider BudgetPulse. BudgetPulse is designed so that you can quickly and easily take control of your personal finances. BudgetPulse eliminates the risk of identity theft because it isn’t linked to your bank. Additionally, there are no downloads or complicated software to figure out.  So check it out, it’s FREE!

See the video below of how BudgetPulse works.

For more information visit BudgetPulse.com.

Related Article: Get Your Free Financial Software at Gnucash.com

MySpace MyAds Offering $50 Credit to New Customers

July 6, 2009 | Financial Tips | No Comments

myspace-myads

If you are an online advertiser, MySpace MyAds will give you $50 towards advertising on their site with Pay per click banner ads.   However, you must be a new advertiser.  

You can spend as low as $5 per day.  I signed up for the $50 and posted some ads.  The service is pretty simple to use.  You first create an ad using their free template or you can upload your own.  You then choose who will see your ad depending on age, gender, location, hobbies and interest.  You can also monitor your ad performance via their free reporting tools.

You control your pricing by setting a daily budget limit and how much you want to pay per click.  The click prices are very reasonable; could be as low as $0.05 per click depending on who you want to target.  You can change your budget and pay per click cost at any time.

After you create your ad, you will be asked for your credit card information.  This is where you will enter the promotion code (PRO50 or SHOE50).  The promotion codes are via ProBlogger.com and Shoemoney.com.

Of course, the MySpace ads aren’t as targeted as search engine ads; however, some marketers have been very successful using social media advertising such as MySpace and FaceBook to drive sales.  Many large companies use social media advertising merely for brand recognition.