5 Reasons to Get Private Health Insurance

Reasons to Get Private Health Insurance

Have you ever thought about getting private health insurance, but never quite got around to it? Perhaps you have been tempted to get private health insurance, only to be put off by the choice or the cost. Choosing private health cover can be tricky, and for some, it can seem unnecessary. However, there are some very good reasons why you should put aside your doubts, and get private health insurance coverage today!

5 Reasons You Should Get Private Health Insurance

 

1. Emergency Issues

No one has a crystal ball. Well, some fortune tellers obviously do, but it’s debatable whether they work. For this reason, no one can predict a trip down the stairs, a slip on the pavement, or something more serious.

Unfortunately, there are some medical emergencies that need a ride in an ambulance or a long stay in the hospital. If you don’t have private healthcare to cover these eventualities, you could find yourself paying steep medical bills out of pocket at a time when you should be concentrating on recovery. However, if you have private health insurance, then you don’t need to use your emergency fund to pay for these expenses.

2. Nice Smiles

Nice smiles and good dental insurance rarely come for free. From regular check-ups and fillings, to cleanings and braces, going to the dentist is a must. It can also be expensive – especially if the whole family needs to go. One of the reasons to get private health insurance is because it can cover extras such as dental. Having these insurance extras can greatly reduce your out-of-pocket costs in the dental chair. The same goes for optical extras, physio extras, and so much more.

3. Family Coverage

Anyone who has kids knows you can’t protect them in a plastic bubble. They get in scrapes, break things, and occasionally get sick. Additionally, they need glasses, they braces, vaccinations, and regular check-ups.

If they require a trip to the doctor, the dentist, the orthodontist, the optician, or even the hospital, those costs can really stack up. Private health insurance can cover the whole family, so no matter who needs treatment, they can get it!

4. Saving Money

There are various government-related reasons to invest in private health coverage as well. First, the Private Health Insurance Rebate offers up to 30% rebate on private health coverage costs.

There is also Lifetime Health Cover loading, which encourages you to get private health insurance by the time you are 31 (before it starts getting more expensive). And, if you earn over a certain amount and don’t have private healthcare, you may have to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge.

5. Cheaper Options

If you have put off buying private health insurance because you think it’s too expensive, it might be time to think again. There are a number of basic options to choose from. Best of all, you can mix and match hospital and extras coverage with different providers to get the best deal.

Where to Shop for Private Health Insurance

If you are looking into purchasing private health insurance, there is more to consider than just the premiums and deductibles. Many employers offered sponsored plans, but there are other options out there.

For those who do not qualify for employer-sponsored plans, you can visit the Health Insurance Marketplace established under the Affordable Care Act to compare your coverage options. Not only can you see if you qualify for a subsidy, but the site also provides information about private plans as well.

When making your decision, be sure to compare all your options. You can learn more about the different types of insurance plans here. Be sure to choose the option that gives you the coverage you need, at a price that suits you. Always read the small print and ask your insurer questions if there is anything you are uncertain about. When it comes to your health, you don’t want to leave anything to chance.

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Good Habits That Will Increase Your Net Worth

Good Habits That Will Increase Your Net Worth

Inheritance and high income are not the only things that boost you to the upper tax brackets. Building wealth begins with changing the way you view and spend money. While raises and huge financial wins are great, it is the day-to-day habits that will increase your net worth.

Creating good spending habits mark the difference between financial success or distress. Instead of planning from paycheck to paycheck, you need to have a long-term view and savings plan. Reverse this thinking, and put your financial goals first.

5 Good Habits that Will Increase Your Net Worth

1. Pay Down Your Debt.

Since your net worth is the total sum of your assets minus your debts, it makes sense to pay off what you owe. Debt greatly detracts from  this, so regularly paying down more principle on your debt is a good habit to increase your net worth.

If you have a large amount that you owe, you may consider debt consolidation or speaking with a debt relief agency.  These programs are especially helpful if you carry a lot of high-interest credit card debt. With one phone call you can reduce your interest rates and monthly payments.

2. Evaluate Your Monthly Spending.

Not only is it important to build good habits, but also to identify bad ones as well. So, it is good to get into the habit of performing regular budget checks. These reviews allow you to make sure you are living within your means. Looking over your financial statements and monthly bills is an easy way to track your monthly spending habits. It is also a good way to determine if you have too many unnecessary expenses.

Creating a budget will help you save money and move towards your long-term financial goals. This does not mean that you have to give up everything you love, but you may discover monthly memberships or subscriptions you can do without. If you want to establish good spending habits that will increase your net worth, then you must also break the ones that negatively impact it as well.

3. Max Out Retirement Contributions.

Another crucial step in building your net worth is through your retirement accounts. While this may not seem a high priority in your twenties and thirties, it should be. The sooner you begin saving for retirement, the more money you will have for your golden years.

Many employers offer retirement plans with tax-advantaged accounts and contribution matching to help your funds grow even faster. If you do not take advantage of these benefits, then you are missing out on free money you could use to add to your net worth. Furthermore, these investment vehicles save you even more since it defers taxable income until your lowest earning years. Increasing your generative assets puts your money to work over time and exponentially adds to your net worth.

4. Put Your Money in High-Interest Savings Accounts.

Choosing the correct savings account can help build your net worth more than you may realize. Even though current interest rates have not risen to previous levels, you can still earn more with a high-interest savings account than in a traditional one.

If you do not need immediate access to these funds, shop around to see which type of account will earn you the most interest. Leaving your money in low-interest checking accounts or stashed under your mattress actually depreciates the value of your earnings over time. Simple changes like this will maximize your earning potential. However, you also need to set the habit of contributing regularly to the account to reap the greatest benefits from it.

5. Look for Ways to Increase Your Earnings.

The bottom line is that if you want to increase your net worth, you need to look for ways to earn and save more. It starts by optimizing your savings strategy to best suit your long-term goals. However, you must also find ways to increase your earnings and assets. You could bring in more income by asking for a raise at your current job, looking for a side job, or earning passive income.

In addition to generating more income, any financial advisor will tell you to also invest when appropriate. There are numerous options of where to invest your money, but make sure you do not put all your eggs in one basket. Diversification protects your assets and earns more interest than savings accounts ever could. Let compounding interest help increase your net worth.

Consult with a Financial Advisor

If you ever find yourself with more questions than answers, it may be time to seek professional guidance. Setting up a consultation with a financial advisor can give you an objective assessment of your finances. Asking for help and getting expert advice are also good habits that will increase your net worth.

Many financial planners will offer a no-cost initial consultation free of charge. If you decide to use their services, they can help you evaluate new investment opportunities, begin retirement planning, and ensure you are getting the most our of your portfolio. Even if you are on the right path, expert advice can keep you moving towards your long-term financial goals.

Don’t Wait to Start Creating Good Habits

No matter what plan of action you choose, the most important thing is not to procrastinate in acting on them. It is easy to tell yourself that you will start working on your financial goals later. However, “later” can quickly become “never.” There will always be financial demands that seem more important, but there is no time like the present to start establishing good habits to increase your net worth. It does not require huge sums of cash to start planning for your future. Start small and build on that, using the small gains as momentum towards your savings goals. As you see financial progress and meet milestones, it will reinforce these good habits and keep you on on the right track.

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5 Things You Can Stop Paying For That Will Save You Money

Things You Can Stop Paying For

In today’s day and age, there are certain services and items that we can all stop paying for right now. Technology and access to the internet have completely changed the way we communicate and find entertainment. Some of these resources are even free! So, if you need to tighten the purse strings a bit, take a look at how much you spend on the following things each month. Chances are that you could eliminate many of these expenses and save yourself a ton of money.

5 Things You Can Stop Paying For Today

1. Music

Music is one of my greatest passions. I love finding new music, supporting local artists, going to concerts, and organizing my playlists. Although I don’t spend nearly as much for live music these days, I am constantly looking for ways to support my addiction without breaking the bank.

There are a MILLION options to explore new music: Spotify (my personal favorite), Pandora, YouTube, Grooveshark, 8tracks, and Soundcloud just to name a few. By all means, continue to buy albums and support these people. But also remember that when you play their songs to completion on sites like Spotify or Pandora, these artists are receiving money through royalties. You can still support your favorite bands and singers using these convenient apps.

2. Books

Can you remember the last time you physically went into a library? Yes, they still exist. Libraries are amazing and full of amazing resources. One cool trend popping up in Atlanta is roadside libraries. If you have seen them, they look like birdhouses, but they are full of books! You drive up, drop off your books, and pick one to read. It is a great idea and definitely builds a sense of community. If you don’t have these available in your neighborhood, you can create your own. If you don’t want to build a road-side library, that’s fine. You can set up a book exchange in your office, neighborhood, or social circles instead.

If you are more interested in e-books, there are also a ton of free resources online. This list not only directs towards the best sites, but can even help you choose titles tailored to your tastes.

3. Fast Food

This is a convenience for which  you pay a premium. Fast food is usually more expensive than cooking at home, and very rarely healthy. Furthermore, you pay even higher prices if you order through food delivery services. A little foresight and meal planning will help you cut this unnecessary convenience out of your life for good. Do yourself and your wallet a favor and make fast food one of the things you can stop paying for.

4. Cable

cut cable

I was once the type of person who religiously watched my favorite TV shows each week, anxiously waiting for new ones to be released. However, after cutting the cord, I’ve found a million other uses for my time. I can honestly say I’m a much happier person because of it. Instead of going home from work and vegging out on the couch, I do more meaningful tasks such as: cooking, walking my dog, gardening, or catching up with friends. It is so simple and so fulfilling. I do not miss the tube at all. However, I still subscribe to Netflix, I can get my fix of TV if need be. For $8.99 a month, the basic membership gives me access rather than spending $100+ for cable packages.

5. Gym Membership

This has been the hardest for me, but the extra work I’ve put in so far has been worth the savings. Not only do I save on membership fees, but also on the commute time and gas money. I am fortunate to have a gym at my office, but without this I would still be able to stay fit. There are so many resources and free exercise routines available online that you can still get a full workout at home. Simply look up your favorite activity on YouTube. I bet you will find a dozen free channels to get your started. Whether you enjoy yoga, jazzercise or free weight training, there is certain to be something out there for you.

The Budget Breakdown

My savings this year from the changes I’ve made: (January – March)
Cable ($360) – Netflix ($36) savings = $324
Spotify Subscription savings = $30
Books (I was a frequent Amazon book buyer) savings = roughly $50
Fast Food = roughly $40
Gym membership savings = $180

That is over $600 in savings for almost three months. The savings speaks for itself, but I am also living a much more fulfilling and healthier lifestyle. However, it can be a struggle to get started. But, the only way to get a handle on your finances is to tackle the problem head on. First, you need to collect all your financial information and sit down to balance your books. This means calculating your total take-home income after taxes. Then, you need to add up all your monthly expenses and subtract it from your income. Creating a budget does not need to be another tedious task. You may be surprised when you look at your daily expenditures and find even more things you can stop paying for.

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