Three Reasons Why You Need a Personal Property Appraiser

There are many reasons why you will have the need of a Personal Property Appraiser in your life time and this article is going to cover three reasons. An Appraiser can do many things to help in your life. When you are in need of cataloging or placing a value on your many collectables call an appraiser.

One thing is they can help protect your investment in collectables from art to zebra rugs and everything in between, by providing a complete inventory of all your items in question.

Collectables include;

  • Antiques
  • Art work
  • Bronzes
  • Vehicles and Equipment
  • Coins
  • Stamp collections
  • Gun collections
  • Precious Metals
  • Quilts
  • Sport Memorabilia
  • Taxidermy mounts
  • Autographs
  • Etc

Second benefit of hiring a Personal Property Appraiser is they are unbiased and not involved in any disputes of value when it comes to an appraisal. They use recent market activity to figure out the current value that is needed for your collection and provide you with a report. This is very important when it comes to tax donations, IRS requires an appraisal before accepting the donation.

The third reason is they are very helpful is, they catalog your collectables in one report and supply you with their current value. A Personal Property Appraiser should provide you a printed copy and an electronic copy on a PDF for your safe keeping. This is very helpful in times of disaster to refer to, or when there is an inheritance involved and the children want to know what a parent had and its current value.

There are many other reasons you need a Personal Property Appraiser and these reasons will present themselves many times in your life. Feel free to give one a call and discuss your needs with them.

Financial Planning – Create Surplus

My personal financial plan is the road map that navigates me to my dreams. Cash flow management always the first part of a financial plan. It is all about my income and expenses. It leads me to know exactly my yearly take-home pay and spending. It is not just about counting pennies, it allows me to plan for next year budget, create a significant amount of surplus and subsequently plan for my luxuries.

Surplus or savings is an amount left over when requirements have been met. It is a financial situation in which income exceeds expenditures. It might be used to pay off debt, save for future, or to make a desired purchase that has been delayed.

Increasing income with well-controlled expenditure effectively increases my savings.

Increase Income

There are active income, passive income and portfolio income. Active income is an income for which services have been performed. This includes wages, tips, salaries, commissions and income from businesses in which there is material participation. Passive Income is an income received on a regular basis, with little effort required to maintain it. It could be generated from rental activity or “trade or business activities” in which you do not materially participate. Portfolio income defined as income from investments, dividends, interest, royalties and capital gains.

Multiple sources of income help in increasing income. You may create your second active income by having a part-time job. Options could be tutoring, authoring, sales and etc. However, converting active income to passive income would be the challenge. Lastly, portfolio income could be created by diversifying savings into various types of investments.

Well-Controlled Expenditure

Increasing income with increasing expenses at equal amount does not help in increasing surplus. A budget plan plays an important role in determining how much to save and control expenditure. If you spend below budget, you would have surplus higher than expected. If you overspend, you would leave a smaller sum for saving.

Quotes by Warren Buffett:

  • on spending: “If you buy things you do not need, soon you will have to sell things you need”.
  • on savings: “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving”.

It is important to know the difference between what you want and what you need. Whatever not in your budget is not a need. Before any spending, please ask yourself: “Do I really need it?” If the answer is “No”, forget about it! There are more important goals waiting for you.

Top Line and Bottom Line

Whenever a publicly traded company announces earnings, you will street Wall Street talking about top line and bottom line – if the news is positive, it will go something like this “XYZ company beat both top line and bottom line estimates this quarter.” And the stock price will spike right after the news due to pure emotion and excitement following the earnings announcement. Honestly, the worst time to buy a stock, but that is a story for another day.

What is top line?

Top line refers to the total revenue or gross sales for a company. In the case of personal finance, it applies to your gross income which includes income from all your sources – paycheck, wages earned through side gigs, capital gains, and interest income etc.

What is bottom line?

Bottom line refers to the net income (earnings) of the company after all expenses including taxes have been paid. In the case of personal finance, it is basically your savings per paycheck after all your bills have been paid.

Personal finance is very similar to corporate finance. If your expenses are greater than your income, then your bottom line is negative. That is a sign of major trouble. The first thing you need to do is to turn that around.

January 2016 is history now. 2016 is flying by. Here are a few things to pause, ponder, and take action on:

#1. What is the one thing you could be doing to increase your top line (aka gross income)?

This could be asking for a raise, asking for a promotion, looking for career growth within or outside the company you are currently working at, working a part-time job, monetizing your hobby etc. The goal must be to consistently push for top line growth of about 5-10% per year.

#2. What is the one thing you could be doing to increase your bottom line (aka savings)?

Look at your monthly bank and credit card statements. What are the areas where you could cut down your expense? If you can cut down anywhere between 1% to 5%, then pat your self in the back. That 1%-5% goes straight towards your bottom line (aka savings).

#3. What is the one thing you could be doing to make your savings work hard for you (aka investing)?

Do you have emergency funds saved away to cover six months worth of living expenses. If not, that is the first thing you should do. You could start out by opening savings account with something like Discover Online Savings Account (that offers 0.95% APY) or a bank of your choice and start building up your savings account.

If you are ready to invest, then you could start out by investing with Betterment or Wealthfront. You get to diversify your investments across stocks and bonds at a very low cost.

What question motivated you the most? What actions are you planning to take?