What is Corporate Banking?

Corporate Banking, which is also sometimes called corporate financing, is a generic term that is used to describe a specialized branch of finance that deals with large corporations, governments, and other large institutions to provide them with the services they need in order to function financially. The main goal of corporate finance is to ensure that the value of the company shares are enhanced to the degree reasonably possible.

Corporate banking includes many different financial services. Some of the services that fall under the corporate banking umbrella are financing, risk management, cash management, and managing foreign exchange. Depending on a corporation’s needs they may use one or all of these services or may even require additional services. For instance if a company is having trouble with cash flow management they could use corporate banking services to improve.

There are several different purposes for a corporation to use different corporate banking services. A company might use corporate banking services to help minimize the amount of taxes paid or they might use them to build a new factory or warehouse. Corporate banking is a large field that encompasses many different types of financial services.

Corporate banking is a subject that cannot be completely explained in just one article. Part of corporate banking is making an investment decision, financing decision, and dividend decision. Each of those decisions could easily comprise several articles by themselves. If the field of corporate banking is interesting to you there are plenty of resources on the internet that will allow you to find further information on the subject.

Debt Consolidation Loan Considerations

If you have lots of different loans and are struggling to pay them you might want to consider getting a debt consolidation loans. Many people find that debt consolidation loans help them get back on their feet financially by getting their debt under control. With a debt consolidation loan you take out one loan and pay off all your other debts leaving you with one monthly payment rather than several different monthly payments. One way to get such a loan is to take a loan against your home. Using your house or other property to secure your loan makes it easier to get a lower interest rate on your consolidation loan. Which in turn will make it easier for you to pay off your debt.

You are a good candidate for a debt consolidation loan if you are a homeowner with reasonable credit history but are currently having difficulty paying several loans a month. If your current loans are higher interest rate loans such as payday loans or credit card bills then taking out a debt consolidation loan can reduce your interest rate and reduce your monthly payment. That is the ideal situation for someone who is taking out a debt consolidation loan. If your current loans are already at a very low interest rate then a consolidation loan would probably not be of much benefit to you.

There are dangers to taking out a debt consolidation loan though. The biggest danger is that if you take out a loan and use your house to secure the loan then you could end up losing your house if you are unable to make the payments on your consolidation loan. You obviously do not want a lender to foreclose on your house. Another danger is that you will rack up more debt after you take out the consolidation loan. Before taking out a consolidation loan you need to make sure that you can afford the payment and that you have your spending under control. A debt consolidation loan is not a quick fix for your credit problems. If you are sure though that you have your spending under control and can afford the monthly payments on a debt consolidation loan then it may be the solution for you.

Should You Refinance?

With the historically low interest rates that are currently available many people are wondering if they should refinance their mortgage.  Even people who refinanced just a few years ago are seeing that interest rates are even lower now and wondering if refinancing would be a good option for them.  Being able to get a mortgage at 5% a few years ago seemed like an incredible bargain but now rates are available around 3.5% or lower depending on your circumstances.  Many people are thinking that mortgage rates are as low as they will ever go.  There is no way to know for sure if mortgage rates are at their lowest but if you are thinking about refinancing there are a few things you need to know to determine if refinancing is a good deal for you.

You will need to determine how much a new mortgage will cost you compared to the mortgage you are currently paying.  You can figure out how much your new mortgage payment would be by using a financial calculator such as emortgagecalculator’s mortgage calculator.  Don’t just look at the monthly payment though be sure to factor in any refinancing fees and make sure you are comparing similar term loans.  If you only have a few years left on your mortgage and you are comparing it refinancing to a thirty year loan you will not have an accurate comparison.

There are a couple of rules of thumbs that are commonly used when one is considering refinancing.  One is that you should save at least one percent on your mortgage rate for a refinance to be worth it.  This rule makes sense most of the time but if you can refinance without any fees it might be worth refinancing even if you can shave your mortgage rate by slightly less than one percent.  The other rule of thumb is that you need to be able to recoup the cost of refinancing within two or three years.  With the low cost refinancing widely available in the market it should not be too difficult to meet this requirement.  As long as you’re not going to move in the next couple of years you should be okay to refinance if you follow these two rules of thumb.

You might also consider refinancing to a shorter term loan.  If you have been paying on your thirty year mortgage for a while it is possible that you could refinance to a fifteen year loan for a similar payment amount.  In that case you wouldn’t see the savings immediately but having your mortgage paid off a decade or so earlier will save you a lot of money in the long run.

After taking the preceding factors into consideration you should be able to determine whether refinancing makes sense for you.  You might be able to save a significant amount of money by refinancing so you shouldn’t delay refinancing your mortgage if refinancing does make sense for you.




Being Honest with Your Insurer: Criminal Convictions

Spending time in jail, or having a black mark on your criminal record for a misdemeanour in the past, will create a lot of problems later in life that you may or may not expect. While it can stop you from applying to certain jobs or mean that you can’t travel to particular countries in the future, it can also affect a person’s ability to get home insurance.

Luckily, there are plenty of providers that can cater to this demographic, such as CanCanCover’s offerings. Otherwise, unspent criminal convictions can make it more difficult to find home insurance cover. It may not matter if it’s only a minor offence that you’ve committed, or if the crime has no direct link whatsoever to the policy you’re buying. Sadly, though understandably, many insurers decide to impose across-the-board bans on applicants with unspent convictions.

Bans may seem harsh, particularly given that many millions of people across the US are registered with the government as offenders in one way or another. After all, you’ve got to remember that the whole reason insurance companies exist is due to risk. You need to understand that criminals may be more risky than the equivalent law-abiding citizen.

For instance, if you were convicted of arson or breaking and entering, no one expects an insurer to cover property in their name, as the policy is directly related to the crime. However, having a home insurance policy denied because you once dropped a cigarette end, or used your phone while driving, may seem quite unfair.

If you have a criminal record, don’t assume that if insurers don’t ask explicit questions about possible convictions when you apply for cover, they don’t care. You must be up front and not keep quiet about past offences; failure to let them know details of any crimes could invalidate a policy, so you could pay for nothing. This also applies to any convictions that other members of the household have to their name – not just the applicant. If you don’t know about these backgrounds, you may have to do some digging – for your safety and theirs!

Save Money on Car Washes All Year Long

We all know what a drastic difference a car wash can make to the appearance of a vehicle. And not only will a properly washed and waxed vehicle look great, but also it will repel dirt and moisture that might otherwise damage the integrity of the car’s clear coat, paint and body. Unfortunately, getting your car professionally washed every week or even every month can get expensive, especially with some full-service car washes charging upwards of $20 per wash. If you’d like to keep your car looking great all year long without breaking the bank, check out these money-saving car wash tips.

Spring and summer: The warmer months are the perfect time to wash your car by hand. It’s much less expensive than taking the vehicle to a car wash, and will give you a sense of accomplishment once the shiny car is ready to drive. Here are a few tips for hand-washing a vehicle:

  • Don’t wait until a lot of dirt and grime have built up to wash the vehicle, as this can eat away at the wax and paint. You should wash the car approximately once a month, or whenever you notice dirt accumulation.
  • Only use car-specific cleaners to wash the car. Household cleaners may damage the paint.
  • Use separate sponges to wash the body and the tires. Gravel and sand from the tires, transferred by sponge, can scratch the paint.
  • Use a chamois or towel to dry the car. Air drying can often leave water marks.

Fall and winter: When the weather turns cold, most vehicle owners turn to car washes. This is a perfectly reasonable decision, since hand-washing your car in the winter will not only be tough in the colder weather, but also you’ll likely end up with a vehicle incased in ice. Here are a few tips for keeping your car clean in the winter without paying too much:

  • Shop around different car washes in your area. Note the cost and how well each car wash cleans your vehicle to determine which is the best value. Consider looking into the “do-it-yourself” car washes, which have coin- or credit card-operated pressure hoses, ideally in a heated garage. If you bring your own cleaning supplies (bucket, sponges and soap), these can be very cost-effective.
  • Save on window treatments by using a potato to defog your windshield. This neat trick involves halving a potato, and rubbing the cut side on the inside of the windshield. If your vehicle has a tendency to fog up frequently, which many do in cold weather, this can prevent you from having to buy de-fogging spray.

Car washes are just one of many necessary vehicle expenses. Another cost you may be able to reduce is your monthly car insurance premium. Finding affordable auto insurance is easy if you take the time to do some research and collect vehicle insurance quotes.

How Easy Is It To Live On A Thrifty Food Budget?

Every month, the United States Department of Agriculture releases a study of average food costs for the American family. The study differentiates households based on age and family size, and it draws distinctions between different levels of food consumption. There is a thrifty plan, a low-cost plan, a moderate-cost plan, and a liberal plan. For a middle aged couple, the respective weekly averages for those plans in January came out to $86.90, $111.10, $137.90, and $172.70. So there is an over $85 difference between the liberal and thrifty plans – a difference that amounts to $4,500 worth of food over the course of a year.

Where do you and your spouse fall on this spectrum? Are you thrifty, moderate, liberal? And do you find this a surprise?

For me, the realization that my grocery spending exceeds the moderate-cost average definitely came as something of a surprise. I had no illusions that my spouse and I were thrifty spenders, but I had always figured that our grocery bill fell below the median range. Now, even despite all our concerted efforts to reduce costs, it was clear that we could probably do more.

So naturally I found myself wondering – could I handle a thrifty plan? How hard could it be to spend under $90 on food for a week between my spouse and I? I resolved to closely monitor my expenses for seven days and use no grocery items that had previously been purchased. Here was the result of my trial:

Breakfast food consumed: 1 box of cereal, ¼ gallon of milk, 6 yogurts, 3 grapefruit, 6 eggs, ½ carton vegetable juice

Lunch food consumed: ½ loaf of bread, 1 block of cheese, 5 apples, 2 tomatoes, 2 containers of tuna, 3 bagels, 1/16 tub of cream cheese

Dinner food consumed: 2 onions, 1 pound of chicken, 1 pound of ground beef, 2 boxes of pasta, 1 pizza dough, 2 blocks of cheese, 1 tub of mushrooms, 3 tomatoes, 2 bags of lettuce, 2 cucumbers, 1/8 container of salad dressing, 1/32 container of olive oil, 1 lemon, 2 bags of potatoes

Snack food consumed: ½ box of crackers, 3 rice cakes, 1/3 tub of hummus, 1/5 bag of carrots

Total food consumed: $87.65

The above figures are for both me and my spouse. As you can see, I found that it was possible to adhere to a thrifty spending plan without needing to make extreme sacrifices. But could I continue this plan for an extended period of time? It’s hard to say, but I highly doubt it.

While keeping to a reduced food budget is a great way to save money from month to month, if I really wanted to reduce expenditures enough to be able to save enough for my retirement, I probably need planning assistance from Cavalry Portfolio Services. Trying to be my own financial planner by pinching pennies here and there is generally only a short term solution – however effective it may be.

But in the meantime, I will continue to put a few extra dollars back in our pockets by reducing spending where I can. What do you think? Is a thrifty food plan feasible for the average couple?