Category: Finance

All of us have personal financial goals. No matter what career you are in, or your current status in life, you have some kind of financial ambition that you would like to achieve. Whether it is long-term or short-term, you would like to see yourself ultimately reach that vision and make a better life for yourself.

Just like any other goals that we set, being able to obtain the intended result or target doesn’t just happen overnight or without much planning or purpose. None of the truly successful people simply stumbled into their achievements without investing any effort or energy. The best way for us to achieve what goals we have set for ourselves is to do it in an organized manner that maximizes opportunities and resources, making sure all efforts are aligned towards that goal we have set.

Write it down. When things are in writing, they become more logical and organized, and allow us to better manage our expectations and plan our strategy. Whether you have one or a dozen financial goals, write them down or type them into your phone or tablet so you always have a chance to organize your thoughts as well as to look at your overall plan. Measurable results can also be gauged when your goals are in writing, allowing you to monitor your progress.

Have a timeframe. Are you looking at a short-term or long-term financial goal (or somewhere in between)? Your way of achieving your target would be determined by the amount of time necessary to reach it. Set a realistic duration or period of time for yourself to work towards your intended result. Along the way, review your timeline and see if you are using the allotted period wisely, or if there are opportunities to maximize efficiency and save time.

Always set money aside. If you get paid weekly or biweekly (or any other frequency for that matter), make sure you already know the amount of money you will need to set aside and save towards your financial goals. Work your budget and expenses around what is left, not from the total amount. This way, you are not tempted to dip into the savings part when you need it for your monthly expenses.

Rethink all expenses. If you carefully assess your income as against all your monthly expenditures, there are items or purchases that you don’t really need, and can re-channel that money towards your financial goals. For instance, making your own coffee instead of buying that cup of designer latte in the morning easily adds up to a lot of savings. Trading in your gas-guzzling truck or SUV for a more fuel-efficient car also helps you have more financial leeway.

In your efforts to achieve your financial goals, always remember that the choices that you make today, even the seemingly insignificant ones, are shaping your future and what success you will have later on in life. Formulating a reasonable, measurable plan today will give you a road map towards financial freedom in the future.

Online banking has made it possible for the average person to have quick, convenient and round-the-clock access to his or her personal or business accounts, credit cards, savings accounts, and other financial products and services. With online banking services, financial institutions bring the process right to the customer’s hands, with everything done via computer or mobile device.

The advantages of doing your banking online can not be denied. While physical bank branches have limited hours of operation, which may make it difficult for those with hectic schedules, online banking is typically available at anytime of the day, so you can do what you need to do at your most convenient time. Whether it is paying bills, transferring funds to your savings account, or just to inquire about your balance, the information and transactions can be accomplished online when you want to.

With the rise of online banking also came new challenges to customer privacy and safety. As millions of customers now perform confidential financial transactions from their desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, criminal elements have also adjusted their tactics and are targeting unsuspecting users who do not take necessary precautions to safeguard their personal data.

Many of the basic precautions customers can take when using online banking services do not differ too much from the usual safety reminders for over-the-counter or ATM banking, such as regularly changing passwords, personal identification numbers (PINs), and verification questions. But other safety procedures are unique to the online setting, such as looking for the “lock” icon on the bank website which signifies that it is secure, or ensuring that there is a “Verified” sign when making Web purchases or transactions.

Firewalls, security updates, and other software and apps should not be taken for granted when you do your banking online. The firewall protects your information from being accessed by people through your Internet connection. Without a firewall, your data is easily retrievable by any one with the knowledge to obtain it by attacking your Web connection.

Depending on what operating system you use, security updates are regularly sent by the manufacturers in order to keep your computer or device updated with the latest security patches or fixes. You can schedule these updates to run automatically, or you can accept the updates any time you get a prompt or notification. Usually, when manufacturers are able to identify security attacks or bugs, they release fixes via security updates so that the users are protected.

It is not advisable to access your online banking information from a public or shared computer, but if you must do so you should know how to clear the cache and history after use. Some data may remain to be easily accessible if you do not remove the cache or browser history. Experts also remind online banking customers not to leave or save passwords on public computer terminals or shared devices.

If you are careful about your activities when going to your bank, then you should also have that alert mindset when using online banking services, where the threats of identity theft and unauthorized data use are just as real and prevalent.

The retail banking and consumer financing business has continuously made headlines in worldwide topics. It is because there are more of them that are responding to their client’s needs. This is through their demonstration of their integrity in doing business, adding value to their commitments, fairness in their deals and unparalleled service to their customers and shareholders. This includes governments, employees and regulators all at the same time. Retail banks understood the demands of their clients in all of the above aspects. Likewise together with consumers finance firms they deliver substantial transformation platforms with more focus on their customer’s needs.

The current work initiated by this business includes an improved multichannel strategies geared towards building and enhancing customer experiences while removing inefficiencies through efforts in containing overall costs.

Furthermore, they help clients’ battle financial crime and at the same time accomplishing ways to ease the growing regulatory burdens of clients. Including in this effort are enhancing risk management and demonstrating better transparency, liquidity and fairness in every deals they make.

Here are some recent client successes to include in areas such as:

Marketing, distribution and strategizing

  • In alignment with the client’s business expansions are the delivery of front-end Customer Relations Management and Finance/HR synergies. This can improve the retention of clients and make the client appreciate the experience. Some of the common CRM efforts are:
  • Query and Reporting Requests:
  1. These are involving instant retrieval and display of all customers that have existing loans or have a credit line but is does not have his own checking account.
  2. Uncovering the list of all clients with a checking account, but has no direct deposit.
  3. Identifying clients that have the tendency to leave the bank. The action of the CRM is to prevent this from happening.
    • For the retail units which are the branches of the business, call centers and even internet; they are building highly performing sales organizations. Likewise they have included the development of strategy for international growth through acquisitions and having subsidiaries
    • They offer improvement in the performances of these specific branch as well as profitability and competitiveness in their area of business
    • Formulated concepts for the new branches
    • For leasing finance; they have reformulated routes while developing business plans
  • Operating Areas
    • Building goal operating models
    • In the domain of the consumers credit company; the restructuring of the sales operations, marketing operations and promoting financial processes
    • Aided in the creation a committed retail bank to benefit the six banks of the public-sector
  • Regulatory and Risks Management
    • Improvement in the banks’ cost-effectiveness with efficiency towards functions in complaints-handling, company which are investing and universal insurance firms
    • Reviewing and redesigning strategies on financial crime-prevention, AML and the processes involved in sanctions

The overall reason in the success of retail banking and customer financing; boils down to the fact that they were able to meet the needs of the clients in all areas. Useful tools were readily available for their CRM and the many strategies and techniques they have diversely implemented to get the loyalty of their customers. This is a business trait that should be looked up by others to succeed in their trade.

 

As the old saying goes, money makes the world go round. It may be a cliché but it does hold a lot of truth about the importance of making money. A lot of people are not knowledgeable about personal finance thus they often find themselves deep into their financial problems without seeing any light at the end of their dark tunnel. Some of them have to restructure their debts while some people file for bankruptcy. If only they are careful with their money, they wouldn’t have encountered a lot of difficulties.

At any point in your life, making money must be one of your priorities because it will pay your daily living expenses, emergencies, and other financial needs. Before you start making money, you have to examine your spending habits last month so that you’ll know how you spend your money. By knowing your expenditures, you’ll be able to decide which expenses you have to cut back in order to add to your savings. There are some banks which provide money tracking online for free and there are also money-tracking tools from various websites.

Part of your making money strategy is finding out how much money you need for retirement. As a rule of thumb, you can multiply your present annual salary by 12. You have to ensure that you save that amount of money before you retire. You have to plan how you’ll be able to raise the needed amount of money. Also, you have to check investment fees your current retirement accounts are charging you. You may opt to transfer your money to a retirement account which offers low fees as part of your making money strategy.

Another strategy in making money is to take advantage of every tax breaks made available to you. IRAs and 401(k)s provide various tax advantages. You may also ask your HRD head if there are employee benefits which you may not be fully taking advantage of. Every quarter, you also have to check your portfolio because your risk appetite may change. For those in their 30s, their financial portfolio may include 70% stocks and 30% bonds or other conservative investments. For those in their 60s, their financial portfolio may be reversed. Eventually, people will need to change their lifestyle in order to increase their rate of personal savings.

For people in their 20s and 30s, it is important to have a will as well as healthcare proxy documents and power of attorney. Part of personal finance is ensuring that each individual has a life insurance especially when there are dependents involved. Making money at this age involves increasing the rate of savings until the personal goal percentage is reached. A 20-year-old individual may opt for a 20% savings rate. Debts must be put at bay and paid on time. In case there is a huge credit card debt, a person must ensure that he is aggressive in paying the debt off as part of his making money strategy.

Personal finance for people in their 40s and 50s include analysis of the kind of support given to family members, especially to adult children and parents, because such support may have a negative impact of the person’s making money ability and financial security. It may make sense to find other ways to support the family members. For those with at least $50,000 assets, it may be best to take a long-term care insurance so that a nursing-home care or assisted living can be taken advantage of when needed.

Even individuals at least 60 years old can still have their own making money strategies. They may purchase an annuity as a way of making money even in old age. The annuity can offer additional financial security, especially for those without pensions. Making money during old age may include continuously working even in retirement. As much as possible, benefits from Social Security must be delayed in order to maximize the payments.

With the recent technological advancements, cell phones have evolved from being functional devices for voice calls to being exceptional portable computers. With the introduction of smart phones to the market, a person can send SMS, surf the internet, play video and music, and do video conferencing. With the changes brought about by technological innovation, people now spend more money on cell phone services. If you’ve been using the mobile phone for the last 10 years, it would be easy to notice the change in your budget for mobile phone services.

The Growing Mobile Phone Bills

During the early 2000, an average American typically spent $210 annually on mobile phone services. Today, the average American spends about $760 annually. According to statistics released by Bureau of Labor Statistics, mobile phone services increased by at least 15% annually for the first 10 years of the new century. Such increase is considered significant considering that during the same period the average increase in annual household expenditures was pegged at 2%.

The Effect Of Cell Phone Bills On Family Budgets

It has been noticed that mobile phone purchases have become a significant part of each household budget. A lot of people have scrimped on clothing and dining out expenses to buy new cellular phones. With such change in buying behavior, expenses related to cellular phone use have increased steadily in the family budget.

The Effect Of Cell Phone Spending On Land lines

With the increase in cellular spending, there is also a significant decrease in land line spending. Because the cell phone has met an individual’s communication needs, the land line has become insignificant. At the start of the new century, the land line bill would have taken around 75% of the total budget for telecommunication. After 10 years, an average individual was spending 65% telecommunication budget on cell phone bills.

How Africa Is Coping With The Mobile Phone Innovations

This shift in telecommunication spending is not only unique in the USA. In fact, Africa is using the mobile phone technology more than the other countries. According to Toby Shapshak of CNN.com, Africans have become creative with their use of cell phones. It is the only continent around the world with a “mobile only” policy. Because most African locations don’t have reliable sources of electricity, Africans have found old cellular phones which had been junked by most countries to be beneficial primarily because this type of mobile phones have longer battery life. It is very common to see Africans using their cell phones to listen to the FM radio.

Africans also have at least 2 SIM cards because mobile networks in the continent charge higher for interconnection fees with different networks. Thus, they just interchange their SIM cards if they want to communicate with other people who are using a different mobile network than theirs. The cell phone is also used to access the internet. According to Shapshak, South Africa records 25% of its Google searches using a mobile phone during the week. On weekends, this figure rises to about 65%. The mobile phone is also being used for money transactions. According to Gartner, mobile money transactions can reach up to $171 billion before the year ends.