76 articles Articles posted in Money

Why Is Your Credit Score So Important?

There are a lot of adverts on TV about credit score checkers at the minute. It seems like everybody is always talking about how important it is to know your credit score and if it isn’t good, to fix it. But how important is it really? A lot of people don’t really bother about their credit score but at some point, it comes back to bite them because it is more important than you think. These are just some of the reasons why a good credit score is so important.

credit score

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Borrowing Money 

Spending loads of money on a credit card is never sensible, but there are times in life when you need to borrow money. Say, you’re buying a new car or you want to do home renovations, for example. It’s fine to borrow money in these situations and if you shop around for good deals, you will be able to manage the repayments. But if you have a credit score, you are seriously limited. You can still get quick loans from new horizons and other similar companies but you may not be able to borrow as much as you need and you will probably pay higher interest. Your credit score is essentially a measure of how responsible you are with money and if you have a bad score, people will not trust you enough to lend you money. If you find yourself in need of a loan for some reason, having a bad credit score will make life difficult for you.

Buying A House 

Buying a house is one of those times when you need to borrow money, and if you have a bad credit score, you will struggle. Your options for mortgages are very limited, if anybody will even lend to you at all. It’s likely that you will end up paying a very high interest rate on your mortgage if your credit is bad. That’s why it’s important to focus on your credit score when preparing your finances for buying a house.

Car Insurance

This is one that people often don’t think about, but it’s a big one. If you have a bad credit score, it can really push your car insurance up. This puts younger people in a tough position because their insurance is already high and they don’t usually have a good credit score because they have not had the time to build one up. However, it only affects you if you pay monthly, not if you pay the whole year in one go.

If you don’t know what your credit score is, you need to check it right away. You can do it for free at Clearscore. If your score is not very good, you should look at getting a credit card that is designed to boost your credit score. You can make small purchases and clear the balance right away, and that will push the score up. Beyond that, you need to make sure that you are budgeting your money well and not missing any payments on bills or loans because that will ruin your score again.

5 Basic Money Saving Tips that Really Work

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A lot of people assume that if they want to accomplish incredible things with their cash, they need to be saving hundreds of pounds worth of income every month. However, this isn’t really true. The fact is that just a couple of pounds placed into a savings account every week can make a huge difference to your finances in the future.

Rather than letting yourself get overwhelmed by the idea that budgeting has to mean changing your entire lifestyle, why not make some basic changes to your relationship with cash that really work instead? Here are some top tips to get you started.

  1. Think Bulk, Not Brands

When you’re shopping for essential items like toilet paper, tissues, and even cleaning supplies, it’s easy to get carried away looking at brand names and packaging. However, it’s important not to let the good marketing brainwash you. Instead, look for opportunities to save some extra money by buying supermarket-brand options in bulk.

More often than not, you’re going to get the exact same experience from a supermarket that you would get from a big-brand company, but you’ll save a fortune on the packaging. Remember, you can always buy extra of the things you always need in when they’re on sale, so you don’t run out too.

  1. Rethink your Electricity

When you start searching through your monthly statements for opportunities to save, you’ll notice that you spend cash in some areas more often than others. For instance, a lot of us overspend on food shopping, but we also tend to use a lot of our cash on gas and electricity. If you’re paying over the odds for your electricity, start by looking at offers from other providers to see if you can get a better deal. At the same time, you can also think about exchanging some of your high-consumption appliances with energy-saving alternatives.

While buying a new fridge, washing machine and other essential utensils might require you to take out a loan initially, it will mean that by the time you’ve finished paying what you owe, you’ll have much lower bills.

  1. Stop Over-spending on Drinks

Sometimes, it’s easier to see how much you spend on food from takeaways, restaurants and cafes than it is to recognise how much you’re spending on drinks. How often do you buy yourself a bottle of cola when you go shopping on a weekend to keep you going until you get home? How much do you spend on a morning coffee when you’re on your way to work.

Invest in a reusable water bottle and take it with you wherever you go. Not only will you have an instant source of hydration when you need it, but you’ll also get a health boost by switching away from sugary and caffeinated beverages too.

  1. Prep your Meals in Advance

Next time you’re going shopping at the supermarket, make a list of all the meals that you’re going to make for that week. This will help you to make sure that you’re not overspending when you’re walking through the aisles. However, it will also mean that you have everything you need to start prepping your meals in advance.

While spending an afternoon cooking and chopping on a Sunday might not seem like much fun, it will mean that you have all the food you need ready and available to throw into the oven when you get home after a long day at work. Pre-prepped meals make it much less likely that you’ll end up turning to a takeaway for food.

  1. Make Saving Automatic

Finally, if you’re the kind of person who finds saving difficult, then why not simplify the process by making it completely automatic? Take a look at your budget and find out how much you can afford to put into a savings account after your bills are paid for. Then, you can set up a direct debit that moves your money into your savings account before you have a chance to spend it.

Making saving automatic will reduce your risk of spending the cash that you wish you had put aside for later. At the same time, it also means that you don’t need to think about saving at the end of each month. Just make sure that you come and re-check your budget every once in a while to make sure that the amount of cash you’re putting into savings, and the cash you’re using elsewhere still makes sense.

Easy Ways to Get your Kids More Interested in Saving

Easy Ways to Get your Kids More Interested in SavingAs parents, we need to teach our children many life lessons. One of which is how to handle money. Teaching your kids how to budget and save for their future will make a huge difference in their lives. They are far less likely to end up burdening themselves with debt. There are lots of ways to teach your children to be good savers, but these are some of my favourites.

Open a junior ISA for them

Opening a junior ISA from Wealthify, or a similar provider is a good idea for most families. The cash in these accounts is not available to your child until they are 18. Although from the age of 16 they can play a role in managing their ISA accounts.

Eighteen is a good age for a child to be given a lump sum. At that age, they are likely to be preparing to learn to drive, go on to further education or thinking about moving out of your home. Having some cash saved up for them in an ISA will enable them to do all of this without having to get into debt.

Get them an old-fashioned piggy bank

Old school piggy banks are still popular because kids love them. Giving them physical pocket money and encouraging them to put some of it into one is a great way for them to get the saving bug at a really young age. Even a toddler can understand that the bigger the pile of coins is the more of what they really want they can buy. So, as soon as it is safe to do so, get each of your children a piggy bank.

Open a full bank account for them

The next step is to open a proper bank account for each of them. At first, you will have to help them to manage it. But, gradually, they will be able to take over the reins. Handling money on a daily basis and getting used to budgeting so that their allowance gets them through the week is all good practice. They can use that bank account to save up for short-term financial goals. For example, holidays or buying something like a new phone or games consul.

Play games that help them to learn about managing money

Kids learn best through play. This YT video provides you with some ideas of how to do that.

Get them to help with the family budget

As soon as they are old enough to do so, get the kids involved with helping you to manage the family budget. Now, I am not suggesting that you burden your children with the full ins and outs of your finances.

But, you can, for example, get them to help you to shop around for the best power deals. Or, to find coupons for the products your family likes to eat. Giving them little tasks like this will really help them to better appreciate the value of money and learn how to save for their future.

Common Family Emergencies & How To Navigate Them

Knowing what to do when you experience an emergency is crucial – if you’re not sure what to do, it can be difficult to find out in the moment because you feel stressed and like your brain isn’t working properly. Below, you’ll find a few common family emergencies and how to navigate them. Take a look. 

Your Child is Sick

When your child is sick, getting time off work last minute can be a nightmare. However, your child comes first. Make sure you stress to your boss that you’re disappointed and you know it’s not ideal, but also present them with solutions. Tell them how you can rectify this at a later date and how you’ll make yourself available in the future. 

It’s Your Child’s Birthday/Another Special Occasion and You’re Going To Miss It 

Your child’s birthday is so important when they’re young, and things like plays and concerts can be huge for them. If you’re going to miss something like this, it’s normal to feel guilty. However, this is your opportunity to become a real role model for your child. See if you can find ways to be involved while you work, or whatever it is you have to do. Maybe you could facetime your child on your lunch break, or message them throughout the day to encourage them. This will still mean a lot to them. 

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Your Car Breaks Down 

A car break down can come suddenly and without warning, and this can be a nightmare if you have somewhere important to be. Quick Car Credit could offer you car finance for a new car if you know your old one is done for, but you should also know what to do straight away to rectify the situation. Who do you call? How will you get to where you’re going? Make sure you have your own break down plan ready. 

Needing Time Off Work

A family emergency can mean needing some time off work, but how long can you have off? There is no limit really, and it’ll depend on your workplace. Some reasons you might take time off include:

  • You need to attend your child’s school because of an incident
  • Somebody dies
  • Somebody gives birth
  • Somebody falls ill 
  • Somebody is injured or assaulted 

The reasons above mostly relate to dependents, which means people who are dependent on you. This might mean your kids, or even a parent. Anybody who depends on you. However, most workplaces will also allow time off for close family member emergencies. 

It’s normal to worry about an employer disciplining or dismissing you, but they can not treat you badly for needing to take time off. It can’t be counted as a sickness or unauthorised absence. If you feel you are being treated unfairly, citizen’s advice will be able to help you. Providing you are honest and do your best to keep your employer in the loop, you should be treated fairly. Leave your thoughts below – thanks for reading.

5 Tips to Financing your Next Home

Everybody, once you become an adult, you would love to enjoy your private space. Having your own home is a dream come true for most people in the world. However, as we all know, that does not come easy. You have to be ready to work for it.

Money is the main factor that can limit you from making a down payment or paying the new house in full. You may need some help in this area. This article focuses on giving you five tips 

that you will need the next time you are making an investment of this magnitude.

Do you need a new home?

Any dream is achievable. However, you have to sit down and analyze whether you require this new home or not.

One of the things you have to analyze is your income. Most lenders will give you reasons why you should take a mortgage. You should nevertheless think about the risk that you are about to undertake. Even if you qualify for a particular mortgage limit, it does not mean that you can pay it off in time.

Thus, if buying a house can wait for some time, you had better do so.

Preparing to acquire the property

Once you think that you are ready to invest in a new home, you have to think of ways of investing in this new asset. If you do not have the ability to pay in full, then your other option is to look for a mortgage.

Before you even start the process, ensure that you prepare beforehand. For instance, you could try to work on your credit score. If it is low, then you lower your chances of getting a mortgage. However, if you can work on getting up, then you can increase your chances by a considerable margin.

A good credit score, by the way, can range between 650 and over. If it is below that, you can work towards improving it.

Look for various borrowing options

Here is where many people make mistakes. You can get the wrong option if you do not shop around to see the various options available. There are many lenders in this space, which means that you have to be keen when making a decision.

Here are the mortgage options you can consider:

– Use a private lender

If you have a poor score on your credit, you can look for a person or a private business that offers that. This is a good option for people that do not have documents required to acquire a mortgage.

– Make a deal with a homebuilder

Most home builders provide in-house mortgages, which you could also use. Nevertheless, you have to be keen when agreeing with these types of lenders.

– Using FHA mortgage

Most federal banks support these loans because they are affordable to many. Even when you have a bad credit score, you could get the mortgage as long as you make a 10% down payment.

Other financing options include rent to own, using your retirement account and crowdfunding.

Final remarks

Before you make any purchases, you have to ensure that you analyze your current situation. For instance, with a new home, you may have to adjust your current budget to help pay for the mortgage you just committed to repaying it. 

Remember also that people take years to finish paying off a mortgage. Therefore, ensure that you make the right decisions and consult professionals in this area.

 

 

 

 

 

Made to Thrill: Best Halloween Slot Games for 2019

Okay, we’ll admit it: we’ve got a soft spot for Halloween. But who could say no to a day of carving pumpkins, dressing like vampires, and gorging on enough candy to satisfy even the sweetest tooth? What’s more, if (like us) you’re a sucker for slot games, you can’t have failed to notice that Halloween’s inspired more slots than Christmas and all the other holidays combined.  

Every year around October 31st, online casinos treat us to hundreds of top-notch Halloween slots, ranging from the mildly creepy to the down-right disturbing. This year is no exception. Already, serious thrill seekers are trying their luck with Halloween Jack, a highly-volatile slot with graphics as terrifying as its spin speeds. Meanwhile, those who jump easily are enjoying the likes of Pumpkin Bonanza and Halloween Fortune, with their cute cartoon animations and steady returns.

Want to read more about the spookiest online slots of 2019? Check out the below guide put together by the team from the online casino bgo.com. It gives you a brief run down of 6 Halloween slots well worth a spin this year.

Saving for the Summer

Saving for the SummerWith the summer holidays fast approaching, many of us have started to think about our finances over the coming weeks. Keeping kids entertained for six weeks isn’t cheap, and the cost of summer can seem truly daunting. With that in mind, I thought I’d look at some things you can do to top up the funds, ahead of this expensive time of year.

Get a Part Time Job

Childcare can be super expensive, but if you’re not currently working and need some extra cash, there are lots of part time jobs out there which can fit around family time. From courier work to bank nursing at your local hospital, out of hours options are there, providing you’ve got someone to watch the kids in the evening.

Get a Loan

While I wouldn’t usually suggest getting yourself into debt, as long as you’re sensible with making your repayments on time a loan can be a useful buffer at this time of year, and getting a loan can even help to repair bad credit if you ensure you stick to your repayment plan. There are also loans for bad credit if you don’t have the best credit rating.

Cancel Any Services You Don’t Use

This is a great time of year to take a look at your finances and cut back on anything that you really don’t need. I currently pay £10 a month for a gym membership, which I barely use, and although a tenner doesn’t seem like much, it’s enough to make your eyes water when you think about it as £120 a year!

Streamline Your Shop

If you’re like us and end up wasting food because of less-than-savvy shopping, this is a good place to start when it comes to money saving. Sit down and look at HOW you shop (weekly, monthly, day-by-day) and work out where most of the waste is coming from. You could also think about WHERE you shop and whether there’s a cheaper option out there, like Lidl or Aldi. Meal planning is also often a good way to help you to be more frugal. 

Get Your Walking Shoes On

Many families are guilty of jumping in the car for short journeys, which would actually be more than walkable. Unless you’re in a massive hurry, try to make any journey of a mile or less on foot – or even better, get the bikes out and get the whole family cycling. As well as cutting your fuel costs, it will get you all moving and will also reduce your carbon footprint – everyone’s a winner! 

Do you have any fab money saving or money making tips for my readers? Do leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you. 

Here’s How You Secure Your Child’s Financial Future

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We all want our children to grow up and do well in life, and sometimes it’s possible to give them a helping hand with this. For instance, you could help them with their education to make sure that they get a head start. Read to them as often as possible when they are young and encourage them to always do their homework to a good standard once they start to go to school. It’s also worth spending time working on their social skills so that they can grow up into well-rounded and confident individuals. For instance, you might want to sign them up for nursery from an early age or arrange lots of play dates with your friends and relatives who also have children of a similar age.

Of course, it will also pay off if you help your children with finances.

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Start Saving For Them As Soon As They Are Born

One of the best things you can do to ensure that your children have a bright financial future is to start saving some money for them on a regular basis. You don’t have to save too much, but you might be surprised that even a very small amount could quickly add up for your kids. If you just save £10 for them every month from their birth to their eighteenth birthday, then you will be able to save £2160 for them. If you place these savings into a high-interest savings account, then they will also get quite a bit of interest paid onto them over the years, which should help the pot of cash grow even more. You will be allowed to open a bank account for a child as soon as they are born, and it really is something you should think about.

Take Out Some Life Insurance

It’s also a really good idea to take out some life insurance for yourself and your partner. This will help to protect both of your incomes should anything happen to you. For instance, if one of you were to suddenly pass away, then the life insurance will then pay out every month to replace all or part of the monthly income that was being brought into the family. This way, your family wouldn’t also have to deal with any money issues while they were grieving and dealing with the loss.

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Write Your Will

haven’t already, you should also think about making a will. It may not be the most pleasant thing to think about, but it will be super beneficial for your family. In the will, you will state how you want your money and estate divided up between your loved ones in the event of your death. For instance, you can say that you want your money split up equally between your partner and your children. You can also state who will inherit any property that you own. The will will make it a lot easier for everyone once you do pass away. They won’t be able to argue the terms of the will, so there won’t be any debate regarding who gets what. Not only that, though, but it also ensures that your children get what you want them to, as no one will be able to state any claim to what they are due to inherit.

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Think About The Potential Cost Of University

There’s a chance that your kids might want to go university to get a good education in order to further their careers. This is a really good path for them to take, however it can be really expensive. The cost of university has been gradually increasing for the past decade or so, and there is no sign that it will be reduced anytime soon. So, this is going to be an expense that you will need to prepare for. If you can afford to, it’s worth saving up for it as soon your kids are born. You could start a separate savings account for your child alongside one for general savings. This could be a good idea even if your kids decide to not go to university after all – at least they will still have these savings that they could put towards a house deposit or their first car.

Talk To Your Children About Money From An Early Age

As well as making all of these financial preparations for your children, it’s also a good idea to be open with your discussions about money. You should explain why it is so important to save as much money as possible. It’s also necessary to teach them the concept of interest so that they know to always look for the bank accounts that will offer them the best interest rates. Make sure that you talk to your children about various financial products as well, such as loans, credit cards, and investment opportunities.

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Avoid Loans And Credit Cards

You should talk to your children about loans and credit cards so that they are aware of them, but it’s best to try to discourage them from using them once they become financially independent. If they do start to use these kinds of products, they will be a lot more likely to end up accidentally sliding into debt and with huge bills to pay. So, make sure that your kids are aware of the fact that there are some financial products that they need to be wary of.

Give Them A Piggy Bank

Piggy banks may seem quite old fashioned these days, but they are a great resource when you need to teach your kids about the basics of money. They will be able to save up any change that they are given. Eventually, if they leave it for long enough, they will have a nice little pot of money to use however they want. By doing this, it’s a great way to show them just how useful saving money can be.

As you can see, teaching your kids about the basics of good money management can be incredibly easy. This should help secure their financial futures!

 

Top Things to Consider When Setting Up an E-Commerce as a Full Time Parent

Top Things to Consider When Setting Up an -Commerce as a Full Time ParentPhoto by Anete Lūsiņa on Unsplash

Looking for a way to earn income as a full-time parent? Starting an online shop could be a great idea.

Being a full-time parent is a job within itself. So, how can you find the time to look after the kids and set up an e-commerce business? It may be tough, but it’s definitely doable. To help get you started, below you’ll discover the top things to consider when setting up an e-commerce as a full-time parent.

Focusing on the right things

There’s a lot to do when setting up an e-commerce business. From deciding what you’re going to sell, to setting up the shop, finding stock and generating customers; with so much to do, it’s easy to focus on the wrong things. For example, you may want to offer numerous new product lines. However, when you’re just getting started it’s a much better idea to focus on just one product line.

The delivery process

The delivery process is one of the most important factors in your business. Customers today don’t want to wait days for delivery. So, you’re going to need to make sure you’re offering several delivery options, and that you have a good system in place to deal with orders quickly.

Using a courier app, such as the one offered by Parcel2go can help you to get orders out quickly and easily. It’s crucial you choose a courier you can rely on. One way to deal with this could be to hire a company like this london courier service, who can help ensure these delivery promises are met.

Automate parts of your business

One thing that’s really going to help you when you’re just starting out, is automating parts of the business. There are a lot of tools out there which can help you to automate numerous parts of your e-commerce store.

As you’ll be using social media to build up your brand, you might want to consider using an automated application such as Hootsuite. These enable you to schedule posts in advance. You can also automate email marketing and potentially orders if you use Shopify’s clever apps.

Setting up a business as a full-time parent is challenging. However, if you follow the tips above, it will give you the best start, helping to increase the chances of your e-commerce store’s success. Make use of weekends and evenings to focus on the business when the kids are asleep. Running an e-commerce store as a busy parent isn’t going to be a 9-5 job!

Looking for a way to earn income as a full-time parent? Starting an online shop could be a great idea.

Being a full-time parent is a job within itself. So, how can you find the time to look after the kids and set up an e-commerce business? It may be tough, but it’s definitely doable. To help get you started, below you’ll discover the top things to consider when setting up an e-commerce as a full-time parent.

Focusing on the right things

There’s a lot to do when setting up an e-commerce business. From deciding what you’re going to sell, to setting up the shop, finding stock and generating customers; with so much to do, it’s easy to focus on the wrong things. For example, you may want to offer numerous new product lines. However, when you’re just getting started it’s a much better idea to focus on just one product line.

The delivery process

The delivery process is one of the most important factors in your business. Customers today don’t want to wait days for delivery. So, you’re going to need to make sure you’re offering several delivery options, and that you have a good system in place to deal with orders quickly.

Using a courier app, such as the one offered by Parcel2go can help you to get orders out quickly and easily. It’s crucial you choose a courier you can rely on.

Automate parts of your business

One thing that’s really going to help you when you’re just starting out, is automating parts of the business. There are a lot of tools out there which can help you to automate numerous parts of your e-commerce store.

As you’ll be using social media to build up your brand, you might want to consider using an automated application such as Hootsuite. These enable you to schedule posts in advance. You can also automate email marketing and potentially orders if you use Shopify’s clever apps.

Setting up a business as a full-time parent is challenging. However, if you follow the tips above, it will give you the best start, helping to increase the chances of your e-commerce store’s success. Make use of weekends and evenings to focus on the business when the kids are asleep. Running an e-commerce store as a busy parent isn’t going to be a 9-5 job!

The Iraq Dinar: When Will It Go Up?

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Iraq has been in the news for many years. Iraq is located at the very end of the Mediterranean Sea between Jordan and Iran and north of Saudi Arabia. Iraq is part of the Middle East. Now we all know that the US invaded Iraq. We all watched the fall of Sadam Hussein. The country has been working to rebuild itself day by day. The currency in Iraq is the Iraq dinar. The exchange rate with the US dollar is about 0.00084 today. This fluctuates every day, but as you see, the value of the Iraq dinar is low. What is on everyone’s mind is when will the Iraq dinar be revalued?

Who Revalues Currency?

A revaluation of the Iraq Dinar is set by the country’s government. The valuation of a currency is relative to a baseline. This baseline could be any number of things. The price of gold, wages, and the price of foreign currency may be taken into consideration for the baseline. The main issues surrounding the Iraq dinar being revalued is for both the political and economic planes in Iraq to become stable. Until there is stability, the dinar will remain at the low evaluation.

Everyone Has To Work Together

There is oil in Iraq, so the ability to create a stable thriving community is there. Everyone in Iraq has to see the future for the bright place it can be. Cities are in ruins in Iraq. The infrastructure is in dire need of rebuilding. Islamic extremists and the fight between the Sunnis and the Shias have been fighting each other for years makes it hard to try to get anything done. Until there is some sort of understanding among all, it will be a long time before Iraq becomes the thriving beautiful country it will one day be.

What Can The Dinar Buy You Now?

Here is a comparative look at what you can buy in Iraq. A three bedroom apartment in the center of the city costs about $656.99 or 781818.10 Iraq dinar. Milk is about $4.56. Fruits and vegetables are under 50 cents a pound. Beef is $5.00 a pound and chicken is about $2.00 a pound. Basic utilities for a 915 square foot house is about $108.00. The Internet costs about $40.00 a month. The price of normal living is okay. The average Iraq person makes about $572 a month. There are smaller apartments for about $248 and $364. Beer is about $2.00 a bottle. This is all reasonable, but until the fighters start seeing a future where everyone gets along, good economic stability will remain at a snail’s pace.

Iraq Dinar Appearance

Like most foreign money, the Iraq dinar is beautiful in color. You can find purples, oranges, reds, and greens coloring different denominations of the money. The denominations of the money are: 50, 250, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000, and 25,000. The 50 and 250 are rarely used. The money has statues, palm trees, important people, Arabic writing, and more on each denomination. The dinar is issued by the Central Bank of Iraq.

The Dinar Scam

There has been a lot of talk about the dinar scam. There are people investing in the dinar hoping that one day when the dinar is revalued, the investments will be worth a lot more than they are now. There is nothing wrong with investing in the dinar, but anyone should do so with caution. It is a risk right now as there is no certainty as to when the country will stabilize. You have to watch out for paying big fees for exchanging the money. It would probably be wise to invest some money in dinar, but see it as a long term investment. The money is real, it is just that if anyone is promising high returns soon, they are misleading. The country is just not stable enough.

There is a lot of hope for Iraq. It is a beautiful country with a lot of resource in oil. Iraq has the potential to be a real player in the global travel trade and other lucrative businesses. Until the wars between the people in Iraq and the Islamic extremists find peace, there will be uncertainty and setbacks. We can all hope a resolution can be found and the dinar will one day be revalued.