Re-brand Your Business, Step By Step

Posted: Wednesday, January 6th, 2016 | Posted by: April Marasco in Marketing | Small Business

Is it time to re-brand your business?

Different from simply freshening up your marketing materials, re-branding means changing the entire “personality” of your business. Your company might be ready for re-branding if:rebranding

• You’ve expanded your geographic territory, or your product/service lines
• Your existing brand is badly outdated
• You’ve acquired or merged with another business
• You’ve purchased the business and want to show that it’s under new ownership
• Your current brand is failing to attract awareness in the marketplace or to distinguish itself from competitors

Now that you’ve decided you are ready to re-brand, how do you do it?

Start by going back to basics and answering some key questions about yourself, your (more…)

Getting a Mortgage If You Are Self-Employed

Posted: Monday, January 4th, 2016 | Posted by: April Marasco in Mortgage | Small Business

Post-credit crunch, it has become trickier for self-employed workers, freelancers and contractors to get a mortgage – but it’s not impossible.If you work for yourself, and are looking to remortgage or buy a new home, find out how you can get the right mortgage for your circumstances with this guide.Motgage Self Employed

The past few years have seen it get more and more difficult for first-time buyers and existing homeowners to get a mortgage, but one group of home-buyers has suffered more than most: the self-employed.

Before the credit crunch in 2007, self-employed workers could apply for a “self-certification” or “self-cert” mortgage. With these loans, borrowers didn’t have to prove their income using bank statements or pay slips; instead they simply told the mortgage lender what they earned. Applications were often (more…)

Celebrate New Year's Eve With Some Fun Games "Money Lessons" For The Young And Old

Posted: Wednesday, December 30th, 2015 | Posted by: April Marasco in Community | Kids Financial Planning | Savings

New Year’s Trivia:

  • Did you know that the first New Year’s Eve Ball was dropped in 1908?
  • Did you know the the first New Year’s Eve Ball, made of iron and wood and adorned with one hundred 25-watt light bulbs, was 5 feet in diameter and weighed 700 pounds?new years ball
  • Did you know for Times Square 2000, the millennium celebration at the Crossroads of the World, the New Year’s Eve Ball was completely redesigned by Waterford Crystal and Philips Lighting?
  • Did you know that a raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continuously from the bottom of the glass to the top? (You gotta try this)

To many Americans, the ball dropping at Times Square in New York City signals the start of the New Year in this country. New Year’s Eve is also the perfect time to play some fun games together. Play games that can help teach your kids about counting, earning and saving money. Swap out items in the games for coin/cash amounts and let your grade-schooler unleash their inner mogul, then take a trip to the bank and let them open a Junior Savings account to deposit into one they already have!

Here are some fun ideas of activities to play with your friends and (more…)

7 Financial Mistakes to Avoid in 2016

Posted: Monday, December 28th, 2015 | Posted by: April Marasco in Financial Forecasting | Financial Planning | Mortgage | Savings

The start of a new year often means a fresh financial and life start for many people as they contem253x256xpay-off-credit-card-debt.jpg.pagespeed.ic.n46Phxau4bplate their goals and dreams. Some of those goals and dreams can increase their quality of life; others, not so much.
Today we’ll share seven money mistakes you should avoid in 2016 if you’re interested in stepping up your financial game for the long term.

1. Not taking advantage of your employer’s 401(k) match.
Every year, billions of investment dollars are left on the table by employees who choose not to take advantage of their employer’s 401(k) match program. Yep, that’s billion with a “b.” In fact, an estimated $24 billion in unclaimed 401(k) match funds are left unused in the United States every year, according to a 2014 analysis of 4.4 million retirement plans by investment advisory firm Financial Engine.
If your employer offers 401(k) match dollars, don’t give away this valuable addition to your retirement fund by not taking advantage of the benefit. Instead, contribute at least up to the match percentage to instantly double your retirement investing dollars.

2. Buying a new car.
With gas prices at the lowest they’ve been in over six years, consumers might be tempted to (more…)

A Homebuyer’s Guide to Escrow

Posted: Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015 | Posted by: April Marasco in Mortgage

Once a seller accepts your offer, you enter the home stretch of your journey toward home ownership. At this point, though, there’s still some work to be done before you can collect the keys. During a period known as escrow, an independent agent handles most of the details. This process ensures Puzzleboth you and the seller perform the way you agreed you would.
Of course, that’s not the end of escrow for many buyers. When you take out a mortgage loan, your bank may insist that you deposit your property tax and insurance payments into a special escrow account established for that purpose.

Escrow for Home Buyers
Escrow is a legal term that describes a trust arrangement between two parties. It is the act of depositing something of value, usually cash or documents, with a neutral third party who only delivers the deposited items when certain conditions are met.
If you’re in escrow for a home purchase, an escrow agent (usually the title company (more…)

Travel and Holiday Financial Security Tips

Posted: Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015 | Posted by: April Marasco in Community | Identity Theft | IT Security

The Holiday Time is a popular time for holidaying and traveling. We want to help you keep your banking safe and secure, easy and hassle-free. Here are some helpful tips you can use to look after your finances while you’re traveling.holiday-travel

Security

You should make sure your cards are kept safe while you’re on holidays, just as you would when you’re at home.

• Keep your card, PIN and online banking secure code safe and secure at all times, remember your pin and (more…)

What Does Football And Finances Have In Common?

Posted: Monday, December 21st, 2015 | Posted by: April Marasco in Community | Financial Forecasting | Financial Planning

Your personal finances Football-moneyhave a lot more in common with a football team than you might think.

Most people like football and it is especially exciting to watch. Although we don’t always understand all the strategies just yet, we enjoy watching the carefully planned plays. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t, but nevertheless, very fun stuff to watch.

Football and finances have a lot in common. The plays are carefully planned, the teams spend countless hours (more…)

2015 End of the Year Financial Checklist: Time to Get Ready for 2016!

Posted: Friday, December 18th, 2015 | Posted by: April Marasco in Financial Planning | Uncategorized

Checklist1. Review your budget: did you to stick to it this year? Do you need to make any adjustments? If you consistently ran over budget in one area, you may have been too strict when you planned your spending. Or if you were always over budget across the board, you may want to recommit to sensible spending – unless you had a lot of unanticipated expenses in 2015.

2. Evaluate your progress: did you meet your savings goals? Whether you were focused on building your emergency fund or stashing money for a dream trip, be sure to evaluate how far you’ve come and determine your new savings goals for 2016 early on in your financial checklist.

3. Prioritize: what would you like to do this year? Perhaps you’d like a weekly (more…)

Bookkeeping Basics for Small Business

Posted: Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 | Posted by: April Marasco in Financial Forecasting | Small Business

bookkeepingBookkeeping is vital to properly managing your business resources. Additionally you will need these records for tax purposes. Whether you DIY or hire someone to keep track of everything you should understand the importance and the basics of bookkeeping.

Keeping good records of operations will alert you to any cash flow issues and potential legal problems as well. Here are a few basics that should always be standard practice to keep in your books.

Revenue and Expenses
Every transaction should be recorded. How much is coming in and how much is going out and (more…)

Remodel Your Home to Save Money

Posted: Thursday, December 10th, 2015 | Posted by: April Marasco in Financial Planning | Savings

Painting

Buying a home is a major accomplishment, but it’s not without long term costs. Not only is there the initial expense of purchasing plus closing costs and a down payment, there’s the cost of maintaining the property.

Maintenance and repairs might be few and far in between if you purchase a fairly newer house in good condition. However, homes don’t stay new forever, and items eventually break and need replacing.
Some homeowners make the mistake of putting off repairs and maintenance for as long as they can. But ignoring a problem doesn’t benefit your pocket. A small issue can quickly turn into a big one, ultimately costing (more…)

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