Boat Insurance: Standard Coverages and Benefits Part One

Note: Boat insurance varies with each carrier. Engarde Financial Group has working relationships with multiple insurance carriers and with work with you to find the insurance carrier that is the best fit for you. 

When you think of your boat, you think of weekend get together with friends. You think of leisure. You think of good times. In order to enjoy the time spent on your boat, it is important to also think about boat insurance. Although boat insurance is not mandatory, it is important coverage to have for you to have peace of mind as it pertains to your boat.  

Boat insurance offers both standard coverage and optional coverage. Listed below are the usual coverages and benefits included in standard coverage.

Take a moment to think about the financial burden that would be placed on you in the event that your boat needed replaced. If your boat became damaged due to an accident or another unfortunate event, full replacement cost would cover it. 

  • Full replacement cost is the insurance used to repair your boat. This coverage is available to clients who have comprehensive and collision coverage. 

Now let us think about accidents that can affect the environment, such as fuel spills. Depending on where a fuel spill occurs and how much damage it causes, a fuel spill from your boat can incur hefty penalties and expenses.  

  • Fuel spill covers fuel spills occurring from mishaps such as a leaking tank or a sunken boat.

Although we don’t want to think about the unfortunate events in life, we must be prepared to handle these events if they arise. 

  • Bodily injury & property damage covers expenses incurred in the event of an accident that causes damage to property or injury to people. 

Obtaining boat insurance ensures peace of mind while enjoying one of your favorite past times; boating. Contact Engarde Financial Group at 412-533-2373 to discuss boat insurance today. 

Engarde Financial Group is positioned to educate and serve its clients with other insurance coverages.

We understand that your personal items that you possess are of significance to you. Here at EFG we look at every situation differently. When it comes to your needs there is no such thing as one size fits all. Speak to a insurance professional today so that we can design a policy to cover all the things you love.

Financial Detox in Five Steps

Do you often wonder where all your money went at the end of a pay period? Are you living from paycheck to paycheck? Is your spending out of control?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, a financial detox might be just what you need to get your financial life back on track.

A detoxification process doesn’t just apply to your body. It can apply to your finances as well. Detoxification is a good word for the process, as the discomfort and challenges of spending withdrawal can feel quite real, just like a physical detoxification.

However, in the end, you’ll experience the relief of being able to live within your means and the joy that comes with financial security.

Are you ready to give it a try?

Follow these steps for your best results:

  1. Locate the cause(s) of your financial challenges: The first step is to go over your bills and bank statements carefully. If you see something you don’t recognize, mark it and investigate it.
    • This is especially true for any online purchases. There should be a phone number you can call. Call them to get the details of the charges.
    • It’s worthwhile to pay special attention to your phone bill. They always seem to be adding new fees. Look at you bank fees, too. They are another group that likes to find new ways to nickel and dime you to death.

  2. Admit the truth. You probably already know where your spending weaknesses lie. If you didn’t before, you should recognize them now.
    • Look over your spending and search for areas where you’re being wasteful. Are you spending $100 a month on your morning coffee? Are you going out to eat five nights a week? Are you buying too many magazines at the checkout? Too many beauty treatments each month? Too many beers with the guys? Admit the truth.

  3. Ask yourself ‘why’? Why do you think you’ve been spending money unnecessarily? Are you bored? Are you sad? Do you simply want more than your income can support?
    • One big challenge in life is dealing appropriately with feelings of anxiety, boredom, and sadness. Some people overeat. Some overspend. Others find other outlets.
    • What are some alternatives that don’t have negative consequences? Wouldn’t it be great to be ‘addicted’ to exercising instead of spending? Think of some other habits you can develop that you might enjoy doing. Going for a walk might make you feel better when you’re stressed. Walking is free and good for you, too.

  4. Start the detox. There are several ways you could go about your financial detox:
    • Go cold turkey. Simply decide to eliminate all the unnecessary expenses from your life, starting right now. This is tough but doable. You’ll have to be strong.
    • Eliminate a few expenses. Maybe you’ll skip the weekly massages and buying lunch every day. You’ll keep some of your optional expenses but eliminate others.
    • Cut back on everything, but don’t eliminate it. Maybe you’ll decide to cut all your discretionary spending in half. This way you still get to do everything, only not as much.

  5. Take steps to make it permanent. If you’re going to take away your spending habit, raise your odds of success by replacing it with something else you enjoy.
    • Evaluate your spending and general sense of well being every month. How are you doing? If you’re having spending withdrawals, you might need a different substitute. However, like being on a diet, it’s never totally without its challenges.

A spending detox might be just what you need to get your spending under control and help to guarantee a positive financial future. Try these tips today. Be strong. Change is challenging, but you can do it!

Teach Your Teen Financial Responsibility

Help your teen enjoy a bright future by teaching them financial responsibility. Knowing the basics of money management will help your child to plan ahead and achieve their life goals.

If you feel a little awkward talking about money, these steps make it easy to explain budgeting, shopping, saving, and using credit wisely.

Budget Wisely

  1. Learn the basics of budgeting. Explain budgeting in simple terms as a plan for income and expenses. Discuss examples of trade-offs and the concept of needing to earn more or spend less in order to remain financially secure.

  2. Get familiar with ordinary household expenses. Give your teen an early start on knowing the cost of typical goods and services. Let them see the cable TV bill and your monthly car payment.

  3. Monitor your spending. Ask your teen to keep track of their spending for a month or more. Your kids may be surprised by how much they really spend on eating out or clothing.

  4. Manage your income. As long as school remains the top priority, encourage your teen to have some income of their own to manage. You can provide an allowance or support their efforts to find a summer job.

Shop Carefully

  1. Shop together. Go shopping together to demonstrate how to get the best value. Compare prices for generic and brand name products at the grocery store. Look for special sales at the local mall.

  2. Research major purchases. Assign your teen some research when they want to make a major purchase such as a cell phone. Let them compare plans and help decide what features they really need.

  3. Analyze materialism. Advertising bombards people with messages to consume more. Discuss the importance of moderation and basing your happiness on sources other than your possessions.

Save More

  1. Establish goals. Help your teen to set short and long term goals that will motivate them to build up some savings. They may want to buy a car or put away money for college.

  2. Understand interest. Provide an introduction to the power of interest. Your child may want to save more if they realize how much money they can earn by starting a savings account when they’re young.

  3. Develop a savings strategy. Help your teen find a plan that works for them. They may want to set aside a small percentage of their allowance or half the money they get for their birthday. If possible, you can provide an extra incentive by offering to match whatever amount they save.

Use Credit Wisely

  1. Select the right instrument for you. There are many kinds of cards to choose from now so you can find the level of parental control that’s comfortable for you. Debit cards give you the peace of mind of enforcing a pre-established spending limit, and many cards give you the option to review all statements.

  2. Pay your balance off monthly. Let your teen know that interest works against them when borrowing. Show them how paying off a credit card balance each month protects you from paying much more than the original price for the goods and services you charged.

  3. Know the significance of good credit. Talk with your teens about the importance of good credit. Explain how being responsible about paying off bills helps people to qualify for financing when they need student loans or want to buy a house.

With a little information and guidance, your teen can master the basics of money management. By encouraging them to be responsible, you’ll protect your family’s financial security while you help your child pursue their dreams for college and beyond.

An Effective Process to Deal With Extreme Financial Stress

There are varying degrees of financial stress. For example, consider the stress levels in these statements:

  • “How will we pay for the trip to Hawaii this year?”

  • “We don’t have enough money to go out to Luigi’s, but we can have Pizza Palace deliver.”
  • “We can pay the electric bill or the gas bill, but we can’t pay both. Remember that the bank said we’d lose the car if we don’t make a payment by the 10th of the month.”

Some people are fortunate enough to have never been in the last situation, but many people aren’t so lucky. Desperate times are highly stressful times.

The good news is that it is possible to get out of a financial crisis! Alleviating such financial pressure requires a cool head and a plan.

Follow this process to reduce your financial stress and see brighter days ahead:

  1. Gather information. Get an accurate picture about your situation. It’s easy to make yourself more upset than necessary. Ensure that you have a factual representation of what’s going on.
    • How much money are you making?
    • What are your bills?
    • How much debt do you have?
    • What resources are available to you?

  2. Focus on solutions. Commit yourself to finding solutions. Most of us tend to focus on comfort, which is a big mistake. Nothing happens when you make yourself comfortable. You’re just distracted. Spend the vast majority of your time looking for, and working on, solutions.
    • You can take it easy at night before bed and focus on making yourself comfortable then to help you have a good night’s sleep.

  3. Eliminate every unnecessary expense. Most people have several expenses that provide little to no value. Do you have gym membership you never use? Magazine subscriptions? Expensive cell phone plan?
    • Get rid of every expense you don’t truly need. Of course, you must pay for your housing, utilities, food, medicine, and insurance. However, everything else is optional.

  4. Determine what you can and cannot influence. Most of us worry about things we can’t control. There’s actually very little you can control. You can control your thoughts, attitude, and actions. Everything else is out of your hands.
    • Focus on what you can influence and avoid worrying about the rest.

  5. Determine how every penny is being spent. When you’re under serious financial stress, it’s important to know where all of your money leaks are occurring. Discover where every cent is going each month. Track it all.

  6. Work on a plan to boost your income. If you had enough money, your financial stress would evaporate. There’s always a way to make more money if you’re committed to providing more value to the world.
    • You might want to get a second job or a side hustle. It might be time to start an online business or to look for a better-paying job.

  7. Budget. Do you have a budget? Most people don’t. Choose where you money is going before you spend it. Make a spending plan and stick to it.

  8. Find ways to relax. The solution to stress is to either remove the source of the stress or to relax. Plan relaxation time into your schedule each day. If you’re too stressed for too long, you’re likely to end up sick. Too much stress reduces your ability to function optimally.
    • Experiment with various relaxation methods to find out what works best for you. Some healthy options include listening to your favorite music, taking a warm bath, engaging in a hobby that pleases you, playing with your kids or pets, going for a walk, or hiking on a nature trail.

  9. Ask for help. It might be time to ask for help. Friends, family, your employer, your banker, or even your creditors can all be of help during financial challenges.

Financial stress is a leading cause of divorce, suicide, and many health issues. Financial issues can be an overwhelming challenge. Ensure that you’re working with accurate information, scale back, boost your income, and make a plan. Ask for help if you need it. There is a way out, although it might be challenging. You can do it!

How to Simplify Your Budget

Finances have a knack for becoming complicated. Therefore, making your budget as simple as possible will allow you to get a better handle on your finances so that you can focus on matters that are more important. Simplifying your budget can have positive effects on all aspects of your finances by helping you keep everything under control.

Stressing out over your finances is a waste of your time, so rein them in today with a simpler, easier to manage budget.

Follow these strategies to make your budget easy, workable, and effective:

  1. Start with a simple spreadsheet. Keeping things in a spreadsheet can simplify your budget significantly. Set it up however you like or download a free template for Excel or Google Docs; just choose something that works for you.

  2. Devote 60% to your expenses. The 60% Solution is a budget strategy that entails fitting your expenses into 60% of your gross income so that you can dedicate the remaining 40% to retirement, debt repayment, short-term and long-term savings, and fun or entertainment expenses.

  3. Devote 10% to your retirement. Put 10% of your gross income toward your retirement, such as in a 401(k) investment plan. Refrain from touching this money for any purpose unless the circumstances are dire.

  4. Devote 10% to debt repayment and longer-term savings. Invest in an index fund or stocks if these are your investment vehicles of choice. Otherwise, put the money away in a savings account and touch it only to repay debt or in financial emergencies.

  5. Devote 10% to your short-term savings. This money is for periodic expenses like medical expenses, auto maintenance and repairs, appliances, birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, and home maintenance costs. Spend this money when you need it, because that is precisely what you’re saving it for.

  6. Devote 10% to your “fun money.” You can spend this money in any manner that pleases you. This is guilt-free money that you can spend on movies, entertainment, eating out, comic books, junk food or anything else that you wish.

  7. Reduce the number of categories you use. Many budget software programs instruct you to use a million different categories or subcategories. If you want to simplify your budget, use as few as you can. Rather than having a category for every entry, combine some expenses into a larger category to keep it simple.

  8. Pay your bills online. Automate your bill payments as much as possible so that you don’t have to remember to pay your bills every month or buy stamps. Consider automatic bank withdrawals and pay bills online through automatic debit whenever you can.

  9. Automate your savings. Every time your paycheck is deposited into your account, have a transaction scheduled that will transfer a specific amount into your savings from your checking. Aim to find a high-yield savings account for this purpose.

  10. Keep your fun money in cash form. Take out your 10%, keep it in cash, and use it as you see fit. Watching the cash disappear from your wallet can actually teach you a lot about where the money goes.

If you investigate, you’ll find numerous techniques to simplify your budget. Do what works well for you and your family. Avoid struggling with a new budget plan because you think it must be better. If it isn’t actually helping you budget, then it’s not the “better” option for your needs. Sometimes simpler is more effective.