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Getting Out of Debt Can Take Years—Why Patience Pays

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It’d be nice to snap your fingers and watch your debt melt away. But the truth is that getting out of debt can take years. Here’s more on what to expect, and why patience pays.

How Long Does It Take to Eliminate Debt?

There’s no easy answer on how long it will take you to eliminate your debt. It depends on how much, what kind and which strategy you pursue.

Paying the minimum balance will almost certainly take the longest, which is why it’s not considered a sustainable strategy for the long term. As Real Simple reminds us, it would cost a consumer with about $16,000 in credit card debt—approximately the average amount carried per American household—$11,000 in interest alone if they only pay the minimum balance due each month. And it will take a long time. Interest creates a lot of extra work, so it’s generally smarter to pursue a more aggressive strategy for paying down debt.

Every debt elimination strategy worth its weight in gold takes time. In fact, consumers should probably be wary about any “get out of debt quick” schemes they come across while doing research. It’s very normal for a process like debt settlement to take 24 to 48 months, for instance; many positive Freedom Debt Relief reviews come from people who’ve been enrolled in the program for years, making steady payments into an account and working toward settling their debts one by one.

Another example is debt consolidation, in which you take out a loan to cover your high-interest debts which you then repay at a fixed rate over time. Many debt consolidation loans have terms of three to five years, although some are shorter and some longer.

The moral of the story? It’s better to work sustainably to pay off debt over several years than to throw a lot of money at debt repayment inconsistently. At least if you have a plan in place, there’ll be light at the end of the tunnel.

Staying Motivated to Pay Off Debt on Your Own

Half the battle when it comes to paying off debt is staying engaged mentally. It’s easy to get discouraged every time you receive a collection notice or experience a financial setback. Instead of thinking of debt as an all-or-nothing proposition—either you have debt, or you don’t—think of it as a journey. Celebrate each milestone and use it to fuel your determination.

Many people prefer the debt snowball method in which you order your debts from smallest to largest, then tackle them in ascending order. With each balance you pay off, you can snowball the money you’re saving into paying off your next-largest debt. People say it’s a good motivator because you experience a series of triumphs that keep you forging ahead toward being debt free.

As NerdWallet writes, “If a debt snowball offers the kind of reinforcement that will keep you motivated, it’s worth the premium to get your finances on track.” The premium is that you may pay more in interest over time if you order your debts by size rather than by interest rate. Others find more incentive in the debt avalanche method because it involves knocking debt out from highest to lowest interest, a move that can save you money overall.

Some people prefer to work with a credit counselor or a debt settlement program because it involves someone else helping them stay accountable. Of course, you’ll likely pay a fee to use services like these. Whatever keeps you going, stick to it. Motivation goes a long way in helping you find the patience to stick with whatever debt elimination strategy you ultimately choose.

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5 Business Essentials for Surviving COVID-19

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Covid 19

Chances are that your company didn’t weather the coronavirus storm without suffering considerable losses. If only you had a contingency plan for unprecedented global pandemics…

Of course, nobody did. So, lest we dwell on how we could have prepared for the crisis. What matters now is your response to the challenges that lie ahead. Getting back into business and re-opening smoothly requires tackling unfamiliar problems. It’s crucial that you take the necessary precautions. Read on to learn more. 

Facilitate Remote Work

Are any team members capable of performing their duties from home? The option may not be available to everyone. But for employees who can work remotely, minimizing their on-site presence is a smart move. You’ll need to draw up a policy with procedures and guidelines for working from home. Keep the following best practices in mind:

  • Set clear rules and expectations 
  • Provide the correct hardware and software
  • Use encryption and VPN tools to improve security
  • Identify and implement suitable communication software
  • Perform check-ins to assess the wellbeing of external workers

Stay in Touch

Make sure to send out regular updates on where your business currently stands. Routinely informing staff via emails and company meetings will reduce panic and relieve uncertainty. Discuss the precautions you’re taking to ensure their safety. Keeping employees up-to-speed with rule changes and policies can cut down on training times. 

Prioritize Hygiene

Depending on your industry, there are likely certain regulations that you need to follow when it comes to sanitization. Regardless, you’ll want to set aside a budget for cleaning products – you’ll be using them a lot. Here are some basic steps for every business to take:

  • Increase how often and thoroughly you clean
  • Stock up on sanitizers and disinfectants
  • Ask employees to follow cleaning procedures
  • Request that staff who feel ill stay at home
  • Encourage more frequent hand washing 

Don’t forget about masks and gloves. Customer-facing businesses may have to invest in temperature sensors, as well as products such as the Sneeze Guard EZ to protect employees and give them peace of mind that they’re safe. 

Look into Federal Relief

Have you explored your options for government assistance? Numerous initiatives are in place to help small businesses stay afloat. This includes low-interest disaster loans, employer tax credit and income tax deferment. Economic Injury Disaster Loans can be taken out to cover important expenses such as payroll and fixed debts. 

Shift Your Strategy

Now is an ideal time to reconsider how you spend your marketing dollars. If you previously relied on traditional channels, taking a more digital approach can help you save money and expose your business to a larger audience. Aim to cover the basics, including:

  • Setting up social media profiles
  • Building a newsletter mailing list 
  • Creating listings on review platforms
  • Optimizing and refining your own website

The end appears closer than ever, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared. Contact your suppliers, investors, partners and other key stakeholders to learn how you can safeguard your business and stay afloat while COVID-19 makes its way out. Rest-assured that your efforts will pay off in due course.

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A Beginner’s Guide To Energy Pricing

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People tend to notice their electric bill can fluctuate throughout the year. When the bill starts to get too high, they may look to change their power consumption habits or invest in more energy-efficient appliances. But what actually drives the cost of energy throughout the year, and how do the prices really get set?

Fuel Costs

Of course, different power plants run on different fuels from petroleum, oil, natural gas and liquefied natural gas, though of course some still run on coal and others include hydroelectricity and nuclear power. How the fuels are purchased, the way they’re transported and ultimately the way they’re distributed all affect the cost. Plus market speculators all have their own forecasts on where there prices are headed. One such forecast has been showing crude oil currently trending at about $40 a barrel, and the current outlook is that it’s likely to trend downward as the summer months come to a close. Natural gas is also been selling quite cheap lately, and its prices aren’t likely to go up anymore this year.

Geographic Location Costs

Part of the power grid infrastructure and power supply costs are affected by geographic location. That’s because of several factors that include not only the topography of the land and how its roads and infrastructure are designed but also local governments and regulations they may have on power consumption. As an example of how different prices can be across the US, the cost per kilowatt-hour in Louisiana was only 7.65 cents, while the rate skyrocketed to 28.33 cents per kilowatt-hour in Hawaii. Hawaii does have by far the highest power costs of any state, but you certainly will see a marked difference in power supply costs in Maine, and those in California.

Seasonal Costs

Your power bill will usually rise in the spring and summer months and lower in the fall and winter. That’s because it usually takes more power to run appliances like refrigerators, and consumers tend to run their air conditioners more during those months. But when cold winter temperatures become extreme, that too could raise the rate.

Consumer Type

Residential consumers and different types of business consumers all pay different rates on power. Certain industrial consumers will have a more steady rate of consumption, while residential consumers may be more unpredictable in their usage, and it costs more to get it to them. Plus, residential consumers may have limited options in terms of who they can purchase power from.So, in conclusion, energy companies have to take all of those factors into account when laying out a pricing strategy for their power supply. But they can also benefit from energy pricing software which uses real data and advanced algorithms to calculate prices for different consumers. This kind of software can help them reach a good pricing point that will reflect current market conditions and make sure their bottom lines aren’t being hurt; yet at the same time ensure they aren’t unfairly price gouging consumers when it’s unnecessary.

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Why Businesses Need Remote Control

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Especially when you plan to travel frequently, you may want to get remote control because this lets you keep pace with everything going on at your business operation. In the digital age, we should seek as many ways to maximize the potential of our technology as possible.

Share Files/Manage Business Remote

Through an enterprise remote control, you can share your files more easily, and you can manage your business through this remote. It makes everything much easier for you in the long run. Collaboration is the key to success at any business, and even while you’re on the road, you can still share the necessary files back with the employees who are running your business.

Access Data from Anywhere

Not only does this have a positive effect for business owners who have to travel frequently, but business owners can also use this for emergency projects. Let’s take the following scenario. Let’s say that you have a power surge that threatens to put your deadline on hold and cost you thousands of dollars. You learn, however, that you still have power back home. Instead of getting bent out of shape, you can move the project back to your home where you will still have access to the required data.

Collaborate with a Remote Team

It has never been easier to collaborate with a remote team than what it is today with everything that we have available to us. You could be in Shanghai, China, while your employees continue operations over in New York City. Still, you can collaborate with them just as effectively as if you were in person with them. That is one of the things that has made this even better than ever before. You have a great setup that allows for the maximum level of collaboration.

Minimized Cost

You have some companies that have switched entirely to remote work because of how it lowers the cost of needing to have an office. That isn’t to say that it can’t be helpful, but you do have some companies that have chosen this route. Office costs can get expensive fast, and through lowering your overhead costs, you eliminate for a number of things like:

  • Office rent
  • Utilities
  • Security systems
  • Minor maintenance projects

In addition, you don’t have to pay for furniture or equipment like you would at an office.

Data Security

Almost above everything else, security matters because if the security is poor, it can lead to major fines and the ultimate end of your company. Some challenges do exist with this on the end of remote work, but if you can get the right software, it can help to ensure that you have excellent company security. You can find ways of putting the padlock on your business.

Businesses need this because of how it will have some undoubtedly positive effects. Even if you still rent an office space, you can get some incredible benefits having remote control for your business.

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