celebration christmas

The holidays can be a money trap. You can work so hard all year to stick to your budget and then Christmas rolls around and suddenly the budget is out the window and you are spending with reckless abandon. But December should be just like any other month. While the budget maybe a little bigger, there should be a budget none the less. The sad truth is that a lot of people don’t know how much they spend during the holidays or underestimate what they really do. Even filling a stocking these days can top $100. So here are a few ways to avoid the holiday overspending and reduce the January regret.

Step one in the reduced December spending is to cut down your Christmas gift list. Do you really still need to give to Aunt Suzie? And while etiquette says that you should give to your mailman, newspaper delivery boy, and the bellhop, do you really need to? The first step to reigning in your holiday spending is to not spend at all. Getting something on sale does not mean you are saving: you are still spending whatever it cost. Don’t get caught up in the holiday hoopla and disregard your logical thinking. If you really feel it necessary to give gifts to these “extra’s” on the list, consider giving them a coupon for your services or bake something from your kitchen. Start thinking a little outside the box.

presentsHow many Christmas presents have you opened and then put aside never to use again? What would your gift recipients really like? A dinner with you, help food shopping during the year, a knitting lesson. Perhaps you can cull the list by talking with the person/people in advance.

Does it make sense to pull one name out of a hat to buy for instead of buying for everyone? Maybe the two of you can agree not to buy at all. You may find that taking your name off of their Christmas list is a gift in and of itself.

You can also consider shopping in an alternative way. Do you have points that you can redeem on your credit cards? For two years now, we have used this option to save a considerable amount of money shopping. Check your credit cards and frequent flier miles to see what you may be able to get. You may also want to consider giving them something you already have. I don’t mean re-gifting, but have they admired something of yours for years? Maybe this year is the year to pass it on.

Once you have considered alternative shopping and have made your list of people to shop for, use your overall budget to calculate how much you can spend on each person. Literally work out this figure and place the number next to the name on your shopping list. It is important to base this off of your overall budget and not work the other way. If you decided how much you should spend on the person and work up, you may find that you have exceeded your total amount to spend. In our culture, it is difficult to remember that the amount you spend on a person does not reflect your feelings for that person.

In fact, I might argue that the amount of TIME you spend trying to get the right gift is a better reflection of your feelings, AND anyone that truly cares for you would never want you to put yourself in debt to buy a gift. It is a little late now, but I would recommend for next year that you start Christmas shopping and planning in January. Not only does this give you more time to look for great sales; but if you choose, you can save a good deal of money by making some gifts or searching for something extra special at tag sales and flea markets especially if you have someone on your list that it into antiques or other nostalgia.

When you are ready to shop, be sure that you are doing it with cash. Do not put your gifts on credit cards hoping that you will get a Christmas bonus or thinking that you will pay it off next month. Gifts bought on credit unless they are paid off that month, quickly rise in cost as interest is tacked on. This again becomes a mental game because you think you spent the average $714 (according to the Gallup Poll November 2010) on Christmas, but $714 on credit for X number of months quickly rises to $800 and then $1,000. If you want to stick to your budget, do it with cash. If you are ordering online and need to use a credit card, total your purchases immediately following the online shopping spree and send a payment into your card for that amount. Don’t even wait for the bill. Unfortunately, extra cash on hand during December quickly disappears.

Another product that you have to be careful with during Christmas is payday loans. While being very fast and convenient, they can quickly lead you into debt. So, if you still need to apply for some extra cash in a way of second chance loans – do it from reputable websites only.

As you plan to actually shop with the list that you have created, think carefully about how you will go about shopping. If you are planning to go on a whole day shopping fest, are you adding to your bottom line by eating out for lunch and dinner? Might it be a better option to stop at just one or two stores? However, the reverse may be true if you live in a very remote area; the drive itself may add to the overall costs.

Perhaps then it is smarter to buy online. If you buy online though, be careful to check on shipping costs. The total cost of the item is not just the cost of the item, but instead is the cost of the item plus shipping and handling. Look for sites that offer free shipping and then be careful that all your items qualify for that rate. I cannot tell you how many times I have filled my basket online and promptly emptied it because I saw that the shipping costs outweighed the items I had purchased. I will also warn you not to spend more just to achieve the free shipping level. Spending money is not saving money.

Another holiday money sucker is food. Holiday dinners and parties can quickly add up. If you put out the full holiday spread, consider changing to a pot-luck dinner and have everyone bring a dish, or consider having a holiday brunch instead of dinner or maybe just hors d’oeuvres. Set the menu based on sales and not on your heart. Stock up before the deadline and use all your other grocery shopping savings tips. If you know that you’ll be doing a lot of baking for the holidays, buy up flour and other pantry essentials when they are on sale.

Of course, conversely, a funny December saving trick is to spend money. Often we are so busy with the holidays that we forget it is the end of the tax year too. Do you have any last-minute doctor appointments that you should fit it? Have you used all of your flexible spending benefits?

Have you contributed the maximum to your 401K? You may also want to consider contributing to a charity as a holiday gift.

This one will have a threefold effect. You will have a gift for a loved one, help an organization/ person in need, and will reap tax benefits. While these items cost a little more today, they’ll save you in the long run.

Most importantly enjoy the holidays. Don’t let money, or the lack thereof, taint the joy of the season. You may even find that focusing less on the commercial side of the holiday allows you to enjoy the season more and surely a January without credit card debt will be the best gift to yourself.

If you think money is backed by anything other than faith and credit of the Federal System, then it is obviously gold investment. The government’s monetary scheme of managing the market recession that involves inflating and deflating money often results in a decrease in the value of the dollar. Therefore, there is a widespread opinion from the investors that buying gold and silver bullion are regarded as better investments and a hedge against inflation.

Buying And Selling Of Gold And Silver Bullions Without Paying Taxes


However, most people feel daunted by the way gold is taxed.

But there is no need to panic. You are not the only one facing the crisis rather there are many who are engrossed in a similar kind of situation.

Like any other investment, gold is a unique investment but subjected to pretty complex taxes.

When you begin to accumulate gold to your possession it becomes even more complicated.

So there are few common questions that every investor will have when investing in gold and silver bullions

  • Can you accumulate gold and silver assets without paying taxes?
  • What is the quantity of gold you can purchase without informing to the IRS?
  • Do you have to pay capital gains on gold and silver investments?

At the same time, it is important to check about the taxes on gold with your chartered accountant with regard to information like

  • Any change in the rules
  • Your tax bracket and other personal considerations
  • Capital tax gains rates
  • Citizens outside the country should adhere to the country’s tax laws.

Some Surprising Advantages Of Owning Gold

Gold bullions and coins provide a sense of security for many investors. But owning gold is equally accompanied by certain downsides as well like the dealers might charge premium prices when you purchase the asset, it has liquidation characteristics, often difficult to distinguish between old and antique collections, securing gold can be expensive and sometimes a hassle. However, it has plenty of advantages when you want to consider gold as an investment.

Gold As An Investment

Gold is considered as a trendy investment in the millennium despite the numerous price swings. The swing can be either in the upward trend or in the downward trend because of its volatile nature.

  • With gold, you can easily buy and sell
  • Owning and possessing gold is very satisfying and sustaining
  • Depreciation of gold is much cheaper compared to other forms of assets like land, automobile, etc.
  • Always a substantial positive aspect for this precious metal.

Gold Has Inherent Value

Other than looking pretty and acting as a former currency, it is only valuable to the extent people trust it. Hence the reason we place a particular value on gold and the precious is precise. One of the primary for its increased value is, it is most malleable and ductile of all metals.

Tax Payer Relief Act

Since the introduction of the act in 1997 passed by the Congress for precious metals, your IRA can invest in one, one half, one quarter or one-tenth ounce US gold coins or billions. This law was introduced to allow the gold and silver coins to be sold directly to the public. So, when the retirement account is funded with precious metals, the investor can have direct ownership with the precious metal and they can fund the account. This is one of the primary reasons why the sales of the gold and silver coins and bullion reach a record high in the US.

Are You Confused About Selling Your Gold And About The Income Tax Rate On Gold Loans?

Computing capital gains for capital assets under the Income-tax act basically involves jewelry and ornaments made of gold. Under section 24, you can claim a deduction on the municipal tax paid during the year. However, when it comes to selling gold, you need to determine the tax treatment and the capital gains tax.

The Bottom Line

As tax plays a huge role in the life of every investor, you should not make a sole consideration when you make your investment decisions. Understand the protection portfolio and go ahead with your decision.

Gold loan, as the name suggests, it is a loan against Gold. Owning gold is an excellent way to diversify your portfolio into tangible assets without any hassle with the management. Privately vaulted gold and overseas real estate are the only non-reported assets that a US citizen can hold.

Gold works as a security for getting a required amount of finance from the bank. One of the most attractive parts of gold loans is, you can get funds up to 80% against the value of gold.

When you want a gold loan, you need to take your gold assets to the lender. Based on the purity of the gold, you will be granted a loan. Gold loans are very easy to get and you can get it processed in just 30 minutes with minimal paperwork.

Gold As An Investment

Gold is one of the best precious metal that is often regarded as a safe haven asset. In the olden days, gold was used as a form of currency like most assets and it fluctuates based on supply and demand. Although it is a reliable investment, some consider it as a poor investment since it doesn’t bring any earnings. However, over time, it not only retains its prices rather increase in value as well.

How Gold Loan Program Works?

Financial corporations, banks, and the non-banking sector buy gold, silver and platinum jewelry. Most of these services offer pawning services on your hard assets. They are very instantaneous without any credits. This is how it works

  • You will be required to take your gold assets to the lender where one of their trained professional check for the purity of the gold.
  • They will determine the value of the gold based on the market price, weight, and purity.
  • Based on this analysis, they can tell you the maximum loan value.

You can decide how much money you want to borrow depending on your requirements.

How Can You Take Part In Gold Loan Program?

When you want to take part in the gold loan program and make yourself eligible, you should have a minimum holding of at least $100,000 USD. Moreover, when you want to be a part of this program, you should either be a client or an account holder of that specific bank. Nevertheless, when you don’t hold an account with that bank, you can open it right away. This makes it easy to purchase gold and borrow against its value and investment in a number of domestic and offshore investments. Gold loan programs are also available to non-US citizens in many of the banks.

Why Should You Take The Loan Instead Of Selling?

If you own gold in the form of jewelry, it is advisable to get gold loans. When you sell the jewelry, you will be paid only for the gold it contains after wastage. This is a substantial piece of money, you are going to lose, so selling the jewelry is not often considered as a better option.  In addition, the interest rates are lower when the loan amount is not more than 50 percent of the total value of the gold pledged. So, taking a gold loan is always preferable to selling your jewelry.

Are There Any Risks Associated With The Gold Loan Program?

There is not much risk involved in the program because the gold is safely stored in the secure Swiss vault. As a result, the borrowers will need to bear only fewer fees and costs to obtain significant funds from the bank. Also, the annual interest rates are very nominal for the amount of stored gold if you borrow more than 75% of funds. However, when your loan amount is less than 50% of the gold’s market value, then your storage costs are completely free. You can even sell your gold after a year but still, the fees will be waived.

To Sum It Up

There are few things that you have to keep in mind before deciding on a gold loan such as the quality of the lender and the quality of the gold. Always go with the reputable lender who suits your individual requirements and use your gold as collateral to secure loans.

First of all, you need to understand what depreciation is before discussing all about gold depreciation. Depreciation is an accounting method of allocating the cost of the tangible asset against its shell life. In other words, it is a decrease in the value of assets. Both tangible and intangible assets can be depreciated. The depreciable property includes vehicles, real estate, computers, office equipment, machinery and many more.

However gold is not a depreciating asset as portrayed. Although sometimes the prices fluctuate and show an upward trend or downward trend.  Nevertheless, market studies report that gold does depreciate due to market forces.

Does Gold Depreciate?

Gold doesn’t undergo depreciation as other assets do. For instance, like fixed assets such as land and automobiles, gold is not depreciated in accounting. One of the primary reasons for this is, it has an unlimited useful lifespan. But, it can depreciate during market recessions, however, when the economy is stabilized and improves, the demand for this yellow metal substantially gets reduced and eventually, its value depreciates.

Is Gold Jewelry A Good Investment And Does It Depreciate?


Solid gold, bullions, and coins are excellent investments however buying jewelry with stones and gemstones are not regarded as good investments because stones cannot be traded on market value but this is not the case with solid metals. Nevertheless, in some cases, ornaments are an exception. Conventionally first-grade intricate jewelry depreciate at a lower rate than low-quality ornaments such as costume jewelry.

It is a common practice for the insurance companies to use the standard rates of depreciation to assess the gold value however, the antique collections and the intrinsic pieces hold their value over time and as a matter of fact, it grows in value over time. If you want to know the depreciation value of your possessions, you can do that with the purchase price. There are many different methods for calculating depreciation for assets however for jewelry, there are only standard methods that discriminate between first-class ornaments against costume jewelry.

What To Do With Your Gold?

Every one of us will have a cash crunch at some point in time. Many banking and financial institutions offer a fast and convenient way to put cash in your pocket instantaneously. In fact, some private sectors even accept broken gold and give you the best price. You can get the cash for your asset before you leave the store. However, not everyone is interested in selling their gold and find for other ways to meet their financial downtimes.

This is apparently handled by suitable gold loans. Gold loans can rescue anyone during a cash crunch situation. You can use almost all forms of gold that include jewelry, ornaments and gold bars. Some corporations don’t accept gold coins for pledging but you can use other forms of gold. A customer can borrow a loan of 75% against the gold value. One of the best advantages of borrowing gold loan is, you have flexible repayment options and you will be paying only the interest during the initial period and you will start paying the principal at the end of the tenure.

The gold sits in the account for many long years, however, the asset holders can cash whenever they want to. Similarly, you can convert gold to different precious metals, stocks and even bonds. You can also put your gold in investment funds. Doing so, you need not worry about physically handling it.

What Is The Right Period To Sell Your Gold?

If you are thinking about selling your gold, then you should have probably inherited gold coins or jewelry. Or you should have invested in billions or gold bars. So before you determine where to sell your precious jewels, you should know when is the best time to sell your gold?

The best time to sell your gold is when you are in an emergency financial crisis and look for the complete value of money against gold or don’t need the gold itself.

The Bottom Line

When you are cash-crunched, you may think about selling. Although you could get some value for it yet it is not the right option. The best thing to do is to take gold loans instead.

Historically, gold has played a potential role in the economy of a number of countries. Gone were those days, when it was considered as the primary form of currency, things have changed as the years progressed and civilizations developed. However, until today still, the yellow metal is considered as a long term investment and perhaps a great portfolio addition in the bear market.

Nevertheless investing in commodities like gold or oil isn’t an easy job unlike other forms of investments like stocks or bonds. One of the primary reason for this, stocks and bonds are easily transferrable and can be accessed instantaneously however this is not the case with the former. But, still gold is easily accessible to the average individual in the form of jewelry or ornaments, in fact, you can even purchase bullion from a dealer or a bank.

Let us discuss some of the vital reasons why you need to invest in this expensive metal.

Reasons To Invest In Gold

Solid gold, silver, and platinum are excellent investments.  However buying jewelry is not regarded as a great investment especially when you buy ornaments with stones, it doesn’t have value when you exchange or replace it with other ornaments. Yet, the solid metals can be sold at the market value.

Investors buy gold due to a few specific reasons like the safe haven, direct investment or a hedge. There is a common perception that gold is highly liquid yet a scarce asset which is no one’s liability. Though it is a luxurious good yet it is one of the best investments, therefore, it plays a vital role in the investment portfolio.

Why you need to invest in gold. Here are the reasons

  • Gold is another popular inflation hedge against the stock crash market. They are effective against inflation.  As a matter of fact, the purchasing power is higher during the deflation period than the inflation period. Rising purchases by China and other emerging markets have driven the price of the gold high up in the bear market.  The experience during the last 50 years suggests gold performs better compared to any other commodities.
  • Gold is a safe haven asset that can shine even during inflation and deflation periods. Perhaps, for centuries it is the leading haven because the investors go for gold during inflation times causing the price to increase more in the global markets. Similarly, it also goes higher during deflation. It protects investors during a possible catastrophe. This is one of the main reasons why many investors want to accumulate gold. Since investors have started accruing gold, the gold prices started to skyrocket and went from $869.75 (2008) to record high of $1,895 (2011)
  • Solid gold comes in various versions such as coins, bullions, medals but still, they are scarce and finite. This is one of the crucial factors why they are valued so much. In addition, there are only fewer gold mines. Moreover, the exploration budget is continuously plummeted due to the rising mining costs. The gold which can be easily mined is mined already. So there is always an increased demand for this precious yellow metal.

Most of the families treasure gold as an asset and is carried over through generations.  Gold bullions offer distinct advantages that you cannot find in any other investment. There are many big advantages of investing in gold

Advantages Of Investing In Gold

  • Gold is superior to currency. Although it is not a conventional form of money, yet it serves as a long-term store for value.
  • Gold is perhaps an easy and accessible way to diversify your portfolio
  • Gold bullion doesn’t require any paper contract or counter party to fulfill a contractual obligation.
  • Gold can never go zero and always have value
  • Gold is easy to accumulate and the maintenance of this metal is fairly easy and not unlike other commodities.
  • Like bonds or stocks, you don’t require knowledge to invest in gold. Moreover, you need not keep monitoring the market crashes. No special training, knowledge is needed to buy gold bullion.

Conclusion

To summarize, gold offers massive profit potential in the current economic systems. You can subscribe and easily redeem whenever you need.

Have you thought about refinancing your house? Refinancing a mortgage means paying off an existing loan and replacing it with a new one.

It’s important to do your research to ensure you’re making the right decision.

When you refinance your home, you’re securing a new mortgage for your property based upon its current value.

Everyone wants to become wealthy with their finite income. But do you think is it possible. Well, when you have the quest and have proper channels and protocol to achieve your goal, then nothing is impossible. Apparently, your savings rate dominates all other factors and helps you lead a magical lifestyle that allows you to drop the expenses drastically besides growing considerably in every aspect of life. But what exactly is this savings rate?

Personal Capital Structure Review

Personal capital is the free wealth management tool that can accurately track every aspect of your finances. Here in this article, you will see how the personal capital structure works and a complete review about personal capital. When you are looking for a complete saving solution, you perhaps need personal capital cash or savings planner. Individuals who used this structure were able to accumulate money.

Personal Capital has become one of the most popular financial management platforms available for the current generation. It is categorized into two divisions namely the Free Financial Dashboard and Wealth Management Service

Free Financial Dashboard –

This is an ultimate all in one financial dashboard that tracks all your finance and analytics in one place. Finance personals often used this dashboard to track and monitor all key performance indicators and business metrics.  This can distill a great deal of data and visually display a wide range of results all in one single page.

Wealth Management Service-

They are high level service professionals who can combine both financial planning and specialized financial services to manage an affluent clients wealth for one set fee. Their services include retail banking, estate planning, legal & tax advice and few others. Wealth management is performed by designing a detailed investment plan using streamlined investment strategies.

Personal Capital Structure – Everything You Should Know

Personal capital acts as a hybrid robo structure and provides access to human advisors. This structure is used nearly by 2 million people around the world. Most of these individuals primarily use the free version. Personal capital is often used for planning future financial goals namely the retirement, saving towards college, buying your dream home and more. Since the company was founded in the year 2009, it developed drastically and currently, it handles more than 18,000 clients who possess more than $8 billion assets.

How Personal Capital Structure Works?


A number of financial companies are constantly telling the Americans that saving is simple and it is better to make coffee at home than buying the expensive latte outside. But Personal Capital structure is creating a complete solution be it an emergency situation, or saving for the future or saving funds for college, they can help people stay confident without turning anxious. Basically, Personal Capital uses baskets of individual securities to create a model portfolio.  The portfolio clearly states that the annual fees can perhaps diminish the progression of your investments as the year progress.

Some Of The Unique Features Of Personal Capital Structure

  • The retirement paycheck feature in Personal Capital allows the customers to have a better perception of how to draw the money during retirement in the most efficient way.
  • A free financial tool to plan retirement, monitor net worth, manage investments and find the hidden fees.
  • This structure allows you to easily create a budget, set a monthly target and view your progress in real time. It can help you to invest smarter by summarizing all your financial accounts.
  • Once you sync an account with Personal Capital, you can rule out yourself from any investment recommendations.
  • With Personal Capital, you not only monitor your net worth, instead you monitor your investment asset allocation besides determining your risk profile.

What Should You Anticipate From A Portfolio Review?

There are a couple of straightforward steps to this process.  The thumb rule of attaining financial success is to know yourself better.  This usually begins with understanding your financial goals and concerns. Then based on your feedback, Personal Capital summarizes your goal, they can implement the plan and provide a series of personalized takeaways.

Bottom Line

To conclude, Personal Capital structure is one of the best online services that offers the topmost financial tool for wealth management.