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Changing Your Mindset About Money to Improve Your Life

Changing Your Mindset About Money to Improve Your Life

Money is a big part of our lives, and it can be hard to change your mindset about it. But if you want to improve your overall life, then you need to rethink how you view money. In this blog post, First Financial® looks at some of the ways you can start changing your mindset about money and improving your overall life today.

Changing Your Mindset About Money to Improve Your Life

How You Really Feel About Money

It’s important to understand the emotions that are attached to money. Acknowledge them and then take steps forward in a positive direction. This might entail Starting a Bitcoin Savings Plan at First Financial® or coming up with a plan for budgeting and saving. It will also mean being honest with yourself about debt and taking steps to pay it down.

It’s Not a Competition

It’s natural to compare ourselves with others, but it’s important not to focus too much on the financial success of other people. Instead, focus on making progress in your own life by setting goals, staying disciplined, and working hard towards achieving them.

A Business Can Be the Key to Financial Freedom

If you’re looking for a foolproof way to increase your income, consider starting a business venture and forming it as an LLC. This will give your business legal protection from liability, as well as tax advantages that will help save you money in the long run. Plus, an LLC will give potential customers more confidence in doing business with you.

Increasing Your Earning Potential

There are also steps you can take to increase income in your career. If you’re looking for a new job that pays more, start by creating an impressive CV. Make sure your most bankable skills are highlighted, as well as any awards or certifications you may have. Most importantly, make sure your CV is easy to read and understand so that potential employers can quickly get a sense of who you are and what you bring to the table. You can use a tool to create your template for a CV — a free, easy-to-use online option is a good place to start. You’ll be able to quickly customize your CV to show off your qualifications and help you stand out from other candidates.

Another way to improve both your earning potential and career prospects is by earning an online degree from an accredited institution. There are numerous online programs available today at different price points, depending on what kind of degree you want to pursue. Education can open doors for career advancement.

Practical Savings Tips You Need Today

Saving money doesn’t have to be complicated — it simply requires discipline. Here are some tips to try:

Changing your mindset about money takes time, but it’s worth it as it can improve every aspect of your life. Start by understanding the emotions surrounding money, then find ways to increase income potential. And don’t forget to save! With patience, dedication, knowledge, and consistency, you, too, can change your financial future for the better.

What is Bitcoin Tax-Loss Harvesting?

Bitcoin Tax-Loss HarvestingWhat is Bitcoin Tax-Loss Harvesting?

If you go back to 2013, the market cap for bitcoin was a little over $1 billion. Later on, this number would explode more than 1000-fold to a value of more than $1.2 trillion! However, the market cap as of January 2023 is closer to $300 billion.These are the kinds of huge swings up and down that the world of cryptocurrency is famous for. These swings are also one of the reasons why so many people are interested in crypto tax-loss harvesting.

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The bigger the dips in the market, the bigger the opportunity to enjoy huge benefits through this strategy for lowering your overall tax liability. So what is bitcoin tax-loss harvesting, and what are the benefits that it provides? Read on to learn all about this tax strategy and how it works!

What Is the Bitcoin Tax-Loss Harvesting Process?

Cryptocurrency gains are classified as capital gains. When someone’s investments increase in value, they will often need to pay some percentage of those gains as part of their tax liability. However, you can sometimes avoid paying some of these taxes if you suffer capital losses.

Capital losses occur when someone makes an investment that goes down in value instead of up. Of course, if someone’s investment goes down in value, there is no gain to be taxed. However, what happens if someone invests in two things at the same time and one goes up and the other goes down in value?

In this case, you can add the capital gains and losses together. If the overall losses are bigger, then it is not necessary to pay taxes even on the one investment that went up in value.

If the capital gains are larger, then it will be necessary to pay capital gains taxes on them. However, you will only pay taxes on the portion of the gains that exceed the magnitude of the capital losses.

In other words, the bigger your losses in one area, the more you can use them to offset your gains in another area.

For this reason, people sometimes make a point of incurring strategic capital losses so that they can offset their capital gains and pay fewer taxes. This is the essential bitcoin tax-loss harvesting strategy, one of the more powerful advanced strategies for investing in crypto.

Someone who has capital gains in another area can sell off their cryptocurrency at a losing price. That will offset their capital gains and decrease their tax liability.

Avoiding Negative Side Effects

In fact, if an investor is lucky, they can do all of this and then buy their recently sold investment back again. If the cryptocurrency price has not shifted, then this allows people to lower their tax liability without any real negative side effects from selling an investment at a loss.

When to Enjoy Bitcoin Tax-Loss Harvesting Benefits

Based on this understanding, one of the requirements for this strategy should be clear. There is no point in using this strategy if you do not have some capital gains to offset.

On top of that, if you already have capital losses equal to or greater than your capital gains, there is also no point in using this strategy. But if your capital gains exceed your capital losses, this might be the perfect opportunity for you to apply this strategy.

However, many people who use strategies like this use them at the end of the tax year. After all, if you wait until the tax year has ended to sell some of your investments at a loss, then you cannot use those capital losses to offset your capital gains from the previous tax year.

There is another situation in which it may make sense to employ this strategy. If there is a large dip in the value of cryptocurrency, then you can incur an unusually large loss by selling during that dip. Some people take advantage of market dips to incur larger capital losses.

What Is the Bitcoin Tax-Loss Harvesting Limit?

There is no limit to using this strategy to offset your capital gains. However, you may also be able to deduct as much as $3,000 each year from your regular income by incurring capital losses. Once you have hit that limit, there is no point in continuing this strategy for purposes of offsetting your income.

You may also want to keep in mind that if you have excess losses, you can carry them into the future to offset future capital gains and income. This is another reason why so many people prefer to incur capital losses during market dips.

If the tax year ends and you do not have any capital gains or income to offset, that does not mean that your capital losses are wasted. You can come back to them in the future to lower your tax liability.

The Bitcoin Tax Bill Timeline

This tax savings strategy may not always be available in the same way. Currently, you can sell an investment and then buy it right back again after decreasing your tax liability.

However, this is not legal when it comes to securities. Some people consider that this same law should apply to cryptocurrency. There is a decent chance that future lawmakers will agree.

Understand the Nuances of Bitcoin Tax-Loss Harvesting

Many people hear about Bitcoin tax-loss harvesting and assume that it is a complicated process. Although there is some truth to this, enjoying the benefits of this tax strategy can be much easier than some people might imagine. Depending on the situation, using this strategy can provide incredible value by lowering someone’s tax liability for years.

To learn more about how to take care of your financial health and future, reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!

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What Are High Risk Merchant Services?

High risk merchant services business on computer.
Maybe you’re just starting a business and you are considering a high risk merchant services account? Perhaps you sell a niche product? Regardless of what the case may be, you’re having trouble obtaining traditional merchant services. Put simply, the bank finds you to be too big a risk.

Fortunately, there’s an alternative available: high risk merchant services. What do these services entail? What are their benefits?

We’re going to get into all of that and more below. Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about high risk payment gateways and payment solutions.

What Are High Risk Merchant Services?

To understand the concept of high risk merchant services, you must first understand the concept of traditional merchant services. Merchant services refer to the services that a bank provides so that a company can accept different types of payments.

In most cases, this refers to the acceptance of debit and credit cards. However, it also covers the realm of online payment processing.

With traditional merchant services, there’s generally a credit score requirement that must be met in order to receive such services. In addition, the provider of such services must find that your business is viable enough to justify providing such services. Therefore, if you sell a niche product, your application for such services might be denied.

Effectively, the service provider considers your business venture to be “high risk”. In other words, they’re not confident that your business is going to make enough money through their services in order to justify them giving them to you.

This is where high risk merchant services come into play. These services are available to essentially anyone, regardless of credit score, products sold, or otherwise. They ensure that you’re able to make card transactions, and thereby help to either improve the success of your business or, at the very least, keep it afloat.

Who’s Considered High Risk?

We’ve discussed what high risk merchant services are. Now, let’s discuss the types of companies that might need them. In particular, there are companies that bring more risk to the table than the typical company.

They possess a variety of characteristics. Let’s discuss them in detail below.

Those Who Sell High-risk Products

There are low-risk products and high-risk products. Low-risk products are things like clothing, books, and office supplies. They sell on a regular basis and will almost certainly trigger regular card payments.

High-risk products are things like software, tickets, and electronics. They don’t sell quite as often, and also have a higher risk of return. This makes them riskier for payment processing companies to get behind.

Those Who Sell to High-risk areas

Another group that might need high risk merchant services is those who sell their products to high-risk areas. This includes, in most cases, impoverished or underdeveloped countries.

If the majority of your sales come from these countries, you’re going to have trouble obtaining a standard merchant account. As such, you might have to go with a high risk account instead.

Those Who Receive Many Chargebacks

Does your company sell a product that results in a lot of chargebacks? If so, you might have to get a high risk merchant account as opposed to a standard account. This is because chargebacks can make it difficult for merchant service providers to financially justify providing their services to you.

Those Who Offer Subscription Payments

Do you sell subscriptions? If so, there’s a decent chance that you’ll need to use high risk merchant services as opposed to standard. Subscriptions leave a high risk of missed payments which can financially hurt the service provider. Therefore, the company is forced to take on more liability.

High Risk Merchant Services Benefits

High risk merchant services are beneficial in a number of ways. Some of their biggest benefits include the following:

Available to Anyone

The biggest benefit of high risk merchant services is that they’re available to everyone. It doesn’t matter whether you have bad credit, experience an abnormal number of product returns, sell a niche product, or otherwise, you can get your hands on high risk merchant services.

This is simply not true of traditional merchant services, which come with credit requirements and are dependent on the acceptance of banks and other rigid financial institutions.

Worldwide Processing Capabilities

Another big benefit of high risk merchant services is that they come with worldwide processing capabilities. As such, regardless of where your customer is located, you will be able to accept their credit cards and debit cards.

This opens you up to an endless number of clients, all of whom can contribute to keeping your business thriving.

Work for Both Debit and Credit Card Payments

Whether your customers pay with credit or debit cards, high risk merchant services will accommodate you. These services work with cards from a variety of brands, allowing you to accept payment from as many people as possible.

Secure Processing

Not only are high risk merchant services worldwide in their capabilities but they’re also highly secure. Regardless of where the payment is made, it will be encrypted so as to allow for as much security as possible.

This means that there will be almost no chance of data theft. That, in turn, is good for the reputation of your company.

Need High Risk Merchant Services?

Are you in need of high risk merchant services? If so, look no further than First Financial. We provide such services to countless clients in countless industries.

Regardless of your credit score and regardless of the products you sell, we can provide you with high-quality merchant services at reasonable interest rates.

Contact us now to discuss details!

Cash Discount Processing: Everything to Know

Small business owner offering cash discount processing

Cash Discount Processing: Everything You Need to Know

Cash Discount Processing is the wave of the future. According to a Federal Reserve study, people use cash for approximately one in five transactions in the United States.

Some stores and businesses offer a cash discount program. These businesses take a certain percentage off the total purchase if customers pay with cash.

Any business owner considering a cash discount program probably has questions. You might wonder how these programs work, if they’re even legal, and how much you can save.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about using a cash discount processing system!

Cash Discount Programs: An Overview

Cash discount programs are a way to offset the cost of credit card fees. Any business or individual who accepts credit cards can offer a cash discount.

Essentially, with this kind of program, customers paying with cash can save a percentage of the total price. When customers use a credit or debit card, they cover the cost of the transaction fee.

Your processor will give you a lower rate on processing fees if customers pay with cash. Some people prefer to pay with cash, and these customers are more likely to choose your business if you offer a cash discount.

Businesses that offer a cash discount can also use it to attract new customers. Not only can you use this program to save money on your transaction fees, but you can also generate more business.

How a Cash Discount Program Works

Many transactions use credit cards, especially with online sellers, but the fees can make businesses less profitable. Cash discount programs are a great way for businesses to encourage customers to pay with cash.

The simplest form of a cash discount program is something like, “If you pay with cash, you get 10% off your purchase.”

This type of program is useful for any business that accepts credit and debit cards, but some are better suited for them. Businesses with a product or service that rarely changes are good candidates for a cash discount program.

Examples of businesses that should consider cash discounts include:

  • Restaurants
  • Cafes
  • Service businesses (plumbing, HVAC, pest control, etc.)
  • Medical clinics
  • Automotive shops
  • Salons

Businesses with a more extensive inventory might have a harder time implementing a cash discount. Large retailers, for example, have a constantly changing inventory that makes it more difficult.

The reason certain businesses are better suited for cash discounts is because of how pricing works.

When you offer a cash discount, you include the cost of credit card processing in the advertised price. If a customer pays with cash, they pay a discounted price.

To cover the cost of card processing, businesses must alter their pricing structure. A business that moves a large volume of products will therefore have to work much harder changing their prices.

As a result, food vendors and businesses with a small selection of services are a better choice for this program.

Surcharges vs. Cash Discount Programs

Many business owners confuse cash discounts with surcharges. However, cash discounts and surcharges work in very different ways.

It’s important to understand the differences before you decide which one is right for your company. Cash discounts are easier and more common, and have fewer legal issues.

A surcharge is a fee added to the advertised price if a customer pays with a debit or credit card. With a cash discount, on the other hand, customers paying with a card pay the advertised price.

This makes cash discount programs more flexible merchant services overall. They can be implemented with minimal changes to your business model (and without any need for additional equipment).

Surcharges can also be difficult if they’re applied across multiple products or services. For example, products with varying amounts due at checkout can confuse and frustrate your customers.

Cash discounts also allow users more flexibility when planning out their purchases in advance. They also don’t require any change in customer behavior, such as making sure they know about all applicable fees.

With a cash discount, customers view your payment options as a chance at saving. With a surcharge, it seems more like a hidden fee.

Are These Types of Programs Legal?

When you offer different prices to customers based on their payment method, it can raise legal questions. Businesses may be hesitant to implement a cash discount because they aren’t sure if it’s entirely legal.

Businesses using a surcharge are more likely to run into legal issues. Although legal in most states, surcharges for credit cards have to be clearly displayed at the point of sale.

Some states have outright bans on surcharges for credit card transactions. Cash discount programs, however, are legal anywhere in the United States.

With a cash discount program, the vendor adjusts the price of each product or service to account for the cost of processing fees. When a customer pays cash, the vendor applies the discount at checkout.

Because the customer never pays more than the advertised price (except with regard to taxes), there are no legal issues.

Save on Credit Card Processing

A cash discount program is one of many tools available to help you save money and make your business more profitable. Unlike a surcharge, customers don’t pay an added fee when they pay with a credit card.

Instead, customers who use a card pay the advertised price, while cash-paying customers get a discount. Businesses can use their cash discount program for advertising while saving money on credit card processing.

First Financial offers merchant services with 24/7 customer support. If you need a way to accept credit cards, we can help, even if you’ve been turned down by traditional banks.

Contact us today to learn about our financial services!

Start a Local Small Business

Woman on the computer starting a small business

Start a Local Small Business

Starting a local business is a great way to contribute to your community. Experts say that 68% of the money spent at small local businesses stays in the community in the form of taxes paid, local workers paid, and partnerships with other small businesses or nonprofits, versus 43% of money spent at non-local businesses. Although starting and running a successful business requires some planning, it’s possible.

Do the research first

Before you do anything else, take time to do some research on the local market to see if there’s a need for a product or service that is not being met. When you know know what products and services you want to offer, find out if others are already filling this niche. As there seems to be a place for your business, then go ahead and create a budget and a business plan. If your business will have a brick-and-mortar presence, find a good location. Set up a website for your company; this is critical if you won’t have a physical store open to the public.

Consider making your business an LLC

While creating the business plan, you’ll be thinking about how you want to organize your company. A limited liability corporation (LLC) has many advantages, such as protecting your assets, simplifying paperwork, allowing more flexibility, and there may be tax advantages. You could set this up yourself, although other options include hiring an attorney. Try to do it or using a formation service, which is less expensive. Before you proceed, be sure to read reviews of the various professionals and services so that you’ll know you’re working with a reputable company.

Not sure you’re ready yet?

You might want to go back to school in order to earn your bachelor’s degree in business before jumping into being an entrepreneur. Degrees in finance, accounting, management, communication, or a general business degree can provide you with skills and knowledge that will help you establish your business. Many online programs make it possible for you to work or even run your own business while earning the degree. An additional benefit might be that you’ll make some useful contacts who can mentor or partner with you later.

Engage with the Community

Once you’ve got your business started, it’s important that you get the word out with marketing as well as make an effort to engage with the community. Consider sponsoring a local sports team, event, or music festival; the connections you’ll make and the visibility of your business will be valuable. Your social media presence is important, so set up pages for your company on one or two different platforms. Later on, you can assign the maintenance of social media to an employee if this is not something you enjoy. Do your own shopping locally as much as possible, both to support your community and to get to know others and make them aware of your own offerings.

Make sure your business participates in local events such as festivals and fund-raising. You might consider pairing with another local business or non-profit to offer mutual promotion and hand out fliers or discounts for each other. Employ local workers as much as possible.

Starting your own local small business can be a good thing for both you and the community.

Besides offering employment to local workers, you’ll be creating revenue and, therefore, tax dollars that go back into the community. Once your company is up and running, you’ll be showing out-of-town visitors what a great place your town is and possibly attracting more investment in the community. Whether you return to school for a business degree or plunge in using the knowledge you already have, you’ll be adding a beneficial enterprise to the neighborhood. If you choose to make your business an LLC, you’ll be protecting your assets and gaining some tax advantages.

If you’re looking for a company you can trust or some other type of loan, consider First Financial, where the process is streamlined online.

Side Gig: The Essential Guide

Woman waving hands in the air. How to Supplement Your Income With A Side Gig.

How to Supplement Your Income With A Side Gig: The Essential Guide

In today’s side gig economy, many people are looking for ways to make extra money on the side or to replace the income they’ve lost due to being laid off or underemployed. After all, unemployment rates are at an all-time high. But the good news is that now more than ever, there are many ways to supplement your income or make some extra money. Here, First Financial shares some ideas to get you started:

Offer Freelance Services

If you have a skill or talent that others need, consider offering your services freelance. The gig economy in the U.S. is booming, so this is the best time to get started. There are many websites and platforms, such as Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer, where you can market your services and connect with potential clients. The best part about freelancing is that you’ll be able to use your pre-existing skills or experience to get started. For example, if you have a keen eye for detail, organization, and problem-solving, you could offer freelance interior design services. You can enhance your credentials (and earning power) by obtaining interior design certifications when listing your services. This certification, for example, will show potential clients that you have mastered specialized interior design skills.

Start Your Own Business

Starting your own business is an excellent option, as this will ensure you make money and the hours you need on your own schedule. When doing so, do your due diligence on the ins and outs of running your company. You should research selling and marketing strategies and deeply understand your niche and demographic. Another essential element is business structure. Forming an LLC for your business structure has several advantages, such as tax benefits, limited liability, and reduced paperwork. States have different regulations around LLC formation, so check out the rules in your state before moving ahead. And if you’d like to avoid the hefty lawyers’ fees and legwork, you can use a formation service to simplify the process.

Potential Side Gigs

In addition to the options mentioned above, there are so many more side gig opportunities out there! You could also utilize talents you may have that you didn’t know were marketable. Let’s see some ideas below:

  • Pet sitting services: If you’ve always been good with animals, you could start your own pet-sitting empire.

  • Social media marketing: Always been good at handling socials and have a prowess for organization? Social media marketing may be calling your name!

  • Create an online course: If you have specialist knowledge in specific topics such as traveling tips or healthy cooking, you may want to sell an online course or ebook.

Finding Work

There’s no one answer for how to find work you love. The important thing is to keep exploring and trying new things until you find a career that suits you. Talk to people in different fields, take on internships, and volunteer for organizations you’re interested in. Once you have a better idea of what you want to do, research different companies and look for job openings that match your skills and interests. Don’t be afraid to apply for jobs slightly out of your comfort zone – you never know what you might end up loving. The most important thing is to stay positive and keep exploring until you find your perfect career.

Ready to get started on making that moola with a side gig? Whether you’ve been laid off or just looking to supplement your income, remember that there are so many options out there! No matter your skill, experience, or preference, you’re sure to find the work you are looking for.

For more informative resource guides, check out First Financial for articles and content.

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©1996-2022 First Financial®, All Rights Reserved. All other products and company names are trademarks of their respective companies. First Financial® does not provide any investment, financial, tax, legal or other professional advice. We recommend that you consult with financial and tax advisors to understand the risks and consequences of buying, selling and holding Bitcoin.*Not all lenders can provide up to $5,000. Must be 18 or over, outside of New York, South Dakota and Hawaii to sign up for a Bitcoin Savings Account.