Month : April 2018

Debt Management

The Ultimate Guide To Slashing Your Personal Debt And Expenses

One thing that most people have in common is debt. Some folks only have a small amount of debt, while others might be drowning in it! We usually get in debt because we want to buy something that we don’t have the spare cash for at the time. Examples include electronic gadgets, cars and houses.

Debt isn’t always a bad thing as it’s a way of proving to future creditors that you are a responsible borrower.

Slash Debt

Source: Flickr

But only if you can manage your debt. If you have to pay out more than you earn, you are on a slippery slope to debt hell.

If that sounds like you, today’s blog post will go some way towards helping you off that debt mountain you’re stuck on. If your money management skills suck, keep reading to find out how you can rebuild your finances.

Make a list of debts and earnings

The first step is to create a list of outstanding debts that you have. It will show you what you pay for each month so that you have an accurate analysis of what you owe and to whom. The list you compile should have the following information:

  • Name of creditor;
  • What you pay each month;
  • What your balance is;
  • Interest rate (i.e. APR);
  • Arrears, if any.

Once you have compiled this list, you need to add in how much you earn each month. For those of you that are self-employed, make a note of your average monthly earnings. You can also include income from other sources like pensions, share dividends and so forth.

I recommend compiling this list on a spreadsheet as it’s easy to update and calculate sum totals. If spreadsheets aren’t your thing, you can always use a pen, paper and a calculator to do the same job!

Determine how bad your debt situation is

Calculate two sum totals – i.e. your debts and your earnings. If you’re in the red and owe more than you earn, you need to address your debt issues immediately. The same applies if you only have a few bucks spare each month.

What you need to do next is contact your creditors and ask if you can reduce or defer your debt payments for a period. Creditors would rather work with you to reach a solution than sue you for outstanding debts.

Make any debts with arrears your top priority. If you are in arrears, it can damage your credit score and make it difficult to apply for credit in the future.

Consider a debt consolidation loan

Do you have a lot of credit cards, especially those with high interest rates? If so, a debt consolidation loan could help you gain control of your finances again. Loans do not compound interest like credit cards do, and you have a fixed set of payments to make to clear the debt.

Approach your bank and see if they’ll give you a loan. If they don’t, you could try applying for a loan from a peer-to-peer lender or even a credit union. In both cases, they will assess your application on its merits rather than just relying on a credit scoring system alone.

 

Cut Expenses

Source: Flickr

Pay off small debts first

Part of the problem with having debt is not having the motivation to pay it off! If you have this problem, you should consider paying small debts off first. Doing so will help you to achieve your goal of becoming debt-free. That’s because you can use the extra cash freed up towards the next-highest debt and so on.

Of course, if you have some high-interest debts, you should pay them off for obvious reasons. But if all your debts have a similar rate of interest, paying off small debts first is an ideal motivator.

Make sure you have the correct insurance for your car

Having the correct insurance for your car can save you a ton of money in the long run! It means that, if you were ever to have an accident (touch wood), you would be properly compensated for damages. For example, classic cars will be so much much expensive to repair due to their rare parts etc. Getting the correct cover, such as Carole Nash Cherished Vehicles insurance, means that you can be rest assured that your baby will be well looked after without you having to fork out a bomb.

Ditch the car and buy a motorbike

It’s no secret that motorbikes are cheaper to buy and maintain than cars. If you’ve got a car but seldom carry passengers or cargo, sell it and buy a used motorbike instead. You can use the spare cash to pay off your debts faster, and you will lower your monthly expenses too!

Before you go ahead and buy a motorbike, make sure the model you want is one you can afford to insure. For instance, BMW bike insurance quotes might offer higher premiums than ones for Kawasaki bikes.

Get rid of services you don’t need

Cable TV, cell phone contracts and even streaming music services all increase your monthly debts. Your goal is to reduce your debt as fast as possible. To focus on this goal, you need to ditch any expenses you don’t need.

When you’re in a better financial position in the future, you can then consider getting them again. And don’t worry; there are cheap or even free alternatives to what you pay for right now:

  • Cable TV – watch free TV shows and films online;
  • Cell phone contracts – downgrade to a SIM-only or prepay contract;
  • Streaming music – listen to music online for free.

Sell your unwanted possessions

I can guarantee you that everyone has personal possessions they never use or even need. Do a tour of your home and find stuff that you never use and have no attachment to. If they have a value, get busy by listing them for sale on eBay!

You can also use other classifieds or auction websites to advertise your wares for sale. Or for an old-fashioned approach, consider having a garage sale. You could even sell your stuff at a flea market.

It’s quite a fun and rewarding experience. Especially as you’ll have the cash to put towards clearing your debts down quicker! It’s something that I have done loads of times in the past to get some cash together.

As a by-product, you’ll have more space in your home once you sell your unwanted items! Just make sure that you sell valuables for the best prices possible.

I hope this guide will help you to sort your debts out and lead a more stress-free life. Thanks for reading!

Passion

You Have More Power Than You Think

You have more power

Knowledge = Power

It’s an old saying that will always hold true. You hold power over people by keeping them out of the loop and not allowing them to get educated.

Well my financial freedom seeker, you are educated and you have more knowledge than you think you do.

You may not be a genius about spaceships, but if a spaceship builder tried to  paint, write a poem, run a business, clean or paint a house, cut hair, invest in the stock market, or even sell something on eBay, or whatever your passion is; They couldn’t do it as well as you. Why? Because they haven’t done it as long as you or care about it enough to try and be as good as you. Just like you don’t care enough or have the passion to build spaceships.

That’s what it’s all about…passion. If you have passion about something you will soak up as much knowledge as you can and become the best at it, because you love it.

Spaceship builders love building spaceships, you love your passion, therefore you 2 are equally geniuses.

True?

Damn right it’s true.

dumbest-person-in-who-wants-to-be-a-millionaire This is a fake image….but it still helps my point

Her passion isn’t large things so obviously this isn’t her forte. So if you have a passion for elephants, the moon, or large things, then you could help teach her a thing or 2.

The point is that you know something she doesn’t and I’m sure she knows something that you don’t.

You can help each other if you decide that you want to know what the other person know.

So let’s find out what power that gives you:

  • You can charge her for your knowledge
  • You can give your knowledge to her
  • You can keep her from knowing

All of the options are possible but the first 2 are going to allow you to Live Your Passion.

Giving away some knowledge and making money off of more detailed knowledge will allow you to Do What You Want and have a lot of power.

Everyone knows something that other people don’t.

EVERYONE!

No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

You do. And it may be as simple as how to make a baby quite, or how to juice an orange.

There are people out there that don’t know how and are beginning to learn those things.

So who’s going to teach them?

You!

The world needs to know what you know. So leverage it for your benefit as well. That way everyone wins.

They get knowledge and power and you can Do What You Want and make a living, but you will always have more power because you started before them. So in fact you have more power than you did keeping it for yourself because now they look to you for help instead of someone else.

So, like I said, you have more power than you think.

Use it wisely.

What do you have power in? Let me know in the comments and then maybe someone will want some of your power.

Tweet this post or Facebook share it to let others know that they have the power!!

Money Management

January Financial Housekeeping

It’s January. The holidays have come and gone, and you are starting to settle back in to your normal work, family, and/or recreational routine.

With things getting more back to normal, now is a good time to take care of some financial action items to get organized and optimized for the New Year.

Below are 3 such housekeeping items that you may want to take a look at this month:

1.      Update Your List of Financial Accounts

In today’s competitive banking/financial environment, it seems like people are accruing more and more financial accounts. For example, it’s not uncommon for people to have at least 5 credit cards, 2-3 bank accounts (one savings, one checking, one joint account), and multiple investing accounts. Generally, this accumulation of accounts happens because we often open up one account and then find another better deal elsewhere or an enticing sign-up bonus.

Regardless of how the accounts were accumulated, you need to maintain a listing of all of these accounts, both from a perspective of knowing your current net worth and also in the unwanted event that you are injured or killed and someone else needs to access/manage your accounts on your behalf.

Because of this, a wise move this month would be to create (and share with your wife, significant other, parents, siblings, etc) a Google Doc Spreadsheet that lists out what types of accounts you have at various financial institutions.

2.      Reduce Your Credit Card Interest Rate

With it being January and Christmas behind us, you might have accumulated a little bit of credit card debt from your holiday purchases. If so, and you are paying a very high interest rate on your credit card, now might be a good time to do several things. First, call up your credit card company and simply ask for a lower interest rate. Second, if you have a fairly small balance that can be paid off within a year, think about switching to another card that features a 0% balance transfer offer.

3.      Calculate What Percentage of Your Income You Saved Last Year and Your Goal For the Current Year

Our financial housekeeping step for the month of January involves figuring out what percentage of your before or (preferably) after-tax income you saved last year and also what your target is for this coming year. These are good things to know in order to plan for retirement and see if you are saving effectively. Click on the following to find and use the best umbrella company hmrc guidance.

Debt Management

What Should You Know About Fast Credit Repair to Do It Right?

Maintaining a healthy credit rating, while fulfilling daily financial obligations, can be hard. Though we all want a college education, a house, and a fancy car, very few can get all of those without taking up loans. Even if you have a steady income, you cannot always be financially prepared for emergencies. That is when loans come to the rescue. However, your credit score takes a hit when debts keep piling up, and you cannot repay the same in time.

However, there are many ways overcome this situation even if you are struggling to keep your credit ratings up. Fast credit repair is a unique way through which you can clean up your FICO score and become eligible for things like a car or home insurance, mortgage and so on. Here we will put forth a few good insights on fast credit repair to guide you in the right direction.

The need to act fast

Advancement in technology has revolutionized consumer behavior and buying patterns, and there is also a high demand for companies to meet the changing requirements of the customers. Personalized services, which took many months or years previously, now takes only a matter of few days or hours. You can even get instant services and products with just a click. The same can be seen everywhere from drive-through food counters to even high-end banking sector. The new buzz words are DIY (do it yourself) and “instantly assemble in minutes.”

Many assume that the day of expert help is gone forever. Even the critical practices of highly secured banking transactions are now executed on the go. The living life in a hurry philosophy is also applicable when it comes to credit repair, and as a result, fast credit repair companies surfaced with a host of value-added services that aim at helping users deal with their financial mess.

What are the quickest ways to fix credit?

The primary way of repairing credit fast is to start right away. Many of the leading fast credit repair firms adopt credit repair techniques based on pay per deletion. Typical providers claim that 75% of the items may get deleted in the first 6 to 9 months or pay cycles. After that, the average removal rate may be one item per cycle. If you are clueless about how to bring your credit record in good shape, here are a few tips that will get you started.

  1. Put a stop to impulse buying when you are in the repairing phase. Feel free to look at the items you like and then set it back on the shelf. If it is something basic and mandatory, you cannot help it. However, keep your shopping list limited to only the bare essentials.
  2. Always pay your bills upfront and also try to pay a bit extra if possible on your debt repayments. It will help you to pay off a little on your principal amount too, and that may help you to reduce the pay cycles.\
  3. Refinancing is a welcome option in many cases to enjoy fast credit repair benefits. This approach helps you to take your credit scores back on track. It will help you to get lower interests and reduced monthly payments on new loans by giving the impression that you are good at managing your debts.

Once your credit rating goes through the makeover, you can slowly regain financial stability by avoiding the same circumstances which led you into the debt trap in the first place.

Money Management

How Would $1,000 Change Your Life?

energizer bunnyIf you were given $1,000 and could do whatever you want with it, what would you do? That much money could change your life. Would you just throw it away on a TV or furniture? Or would you save it? Just think about what that money could do for you.

Security

If you put that money in a savings account, and add a couple of bucks a week, you would be well on your way to a great emergency fund. With an emergency fund you wouldn’t be forced to borrow money if you got a flat tire or you got sick and had to go to the hospital. How would that feel to you, knowing that if something unexpected happened, you would have something to fall back on? How much less stress would you have in your life if you didn’t have to worry about every little bump in the road? A little security will help you feel so much better in life. Although you could always apply for an online loan if you had to.

Energizer Bunny

Yea that’s right; I brought up an energizer bunny analogy. Think about it, if you had financial security in your life, wouldn’t you want to keep it in your life? That $1,000 would be the catalyst to start your journey to financial security forever. You would think about ways to keep that money by reading up on personal finance and starting a budget. That money would keep you going, and going, and going, to a better financial life.

You Can Do It

That reality is in your grasp. Just by putting a few dollars away each day will quickly add up to $1,000 and you won’t even notice that money missing. Every Sunday just put away $20. In a year you will have the security to not have to worry about bumps in the road of life and you’ll have the motivation to make your life financially better.

Sure, one year is a long time in your mind, but you’re focusing on the wrong part of this plan. Don’t focus at all on any aspect of this plan. Just do it! Put away $20 a month and don’t even think about it. Set up an online savings account and have it automatically transfer money there every Sunday. Why Sunday you ask? Once again, you’re focusing on the wrong part of the plan. It doesn’t matter what day. Any day is fine. But try to start on a holiday or a special occasion, so it’s easy to remember, and the next year on that same day check the account and you will have financial security start to grow in your life. If you don’t have a way to set up a savings account then every Sunday put $20 under your mattress. Just do it!

Then that little energizer bunny in you will want to learn all that it can about personal finance. I’d personally recommend reading this site but you can look anywhere as long as you look. Just do it!

How would $1,000 change your life?