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Archive for December, 2012

Make A Resolution To Pay Off Debt This Year

Written by Toi Williams on Dec 31st, 2012 | Filed under: debt relief

Many people are carrying large amounts of credit card debt that is restricting their ability to buy the things that they need and save for their future.  The amount of interest being paid to creditors across the nation is billions of dollars, money that could be better spent increasing the wealth of middle and low income households.  Unfortunately, you will never get rid of the additional interest payments until you have gotten rid of your debt.  Make a resolution to pay off any debt you are carrying by the end of this year and use these simple tips to help you accomplish your goal.

Get Into The Right Mindset

Making a resolution to pay off your debt can result in some hard choices to make regarding your current financial situation and you make have to make some lifestyle modifications to meet your goals.  Instead of being bummed out about the things that you will have to change, think of how happy you will be to be free of the debt you have accumulated.  Once that debt balance is gone, you are free to begin building wealth for the future and can make choices with your money that do not involve giving it all to credit card companies.

Track Your Spending

Many people have gotten into debt because they neglected to track what they were spending and ended up spending more than they could afford.  By keeping track of the amount you are spending and what you are spending your money on, you can take control of your spending and avoid wasting money you don’t have on frivolous items that you do not need.   It will also help you see where to cut spending so you can direct more of your money towards paying down your credit card debt.

Pay Down Balances As Quickly As Possible

The longer you carry debt, the more interest you are going to end up paying to the creditor.  Make a plan to pay off your debt balances as quickly as you can to limit the amount you pay in interest and fees to the credit card companies.  This limits the amount of time that you must sacrifice to pay off the debts and allows you to see the balances go down quickly, which will increase your motivation to succeed at your goal.  Your focus should be on making larger payments on the debt and not adding to the debt with additional purchases during the repayment period.

What To Do When A Debt Collector Calls

Written by Toi Williams on Dec 30th, 2012 | Filed under: collectors

It is an all too common scenario these days.  You fall behind on a loan or other payment and eventually, the debt collectors begin to call.  The thought of a debt collector calling you can cause you to break out in a cold sweat, but it does not have to be a traumatic experience.  Here are some actions you can take when a debt collector calls that can help you get your finances back on track.

Document The Details Of The Call

In most cases, the debt collection company that is calling you is not the company that you originally owed the debt to.  Often, the debt collection company has purchased the debt from a different company and is now pursuing you for the unpaid balance so that they can make a profit.  Sometimes, the debt collection company is calling the wrong person or calling about a debt that has already been paid.  Take careful notes during the call so that you can review them at your leisure and try to match up the facts of the debt with your own records.

Stay Calm

The worse thing you can do when a debt collector calls is to lose your temper and start yelling or using profanity.  It is important to remember that even if a mistake has been made, the person on the other end of the phone is unlikely to be the person who made the original mistake.  That person will also be less likely to listen to anything you have to say after you have been screaming at them.  Stay calm and ask for information about the debt that caused them to call.  Take their name and phone number so that you can contact them at a later date if necessary.

Ask What Options Are Available

Debt collectors often have several different tools available that can help you clear an owed debt and bring your accounts current.  Ask what options they have available that can help you eliminate the debt they are contacting you about.  In most cases, they do not have to have the entire amount owed immediately.  Paying small amounts over several months will eventually eliminate your debt and those collection calls.

Choosing The Right Bank Is Important For Your Finances

Written by Toi Williams on Dec 15th, 2012 | Filed under: saving

Choosing the right bank can be a very important financial decision for your future finances.  Different banks have different financial products available that can save or cost you a great deal of money.  There are a number of things that you should keep in mind when choosing a bank to do business with.  By taking these items under consideration, you will be able to choose the best bank for your needs.

Examine Different Account Features

Banks will have a variety of different account options available to meet the needs of potential customers.  When conducting your search for a bank, review the different account options available and determine their suitability to your current financial situation.  If your financial situation would trigger numerous fees on the account, you should find a different banking product to obtain.  There are several websites available online that will allow you to compare the account features of several different banks simultaneously.

Location Is Important

When choosing a bank, you want to pick one that allows you to have easy access to your account and account information.  Examine where the closest locations to your home and place of business are and examine the routes that are needed to access those locations.  You will also want to review the number and locations of ATMs in the area and whether the bank offers online banking services that you can access from your home.

Review The Fine Print

Most banking products come with a slew of documents covered in fine print that are supposed to tell you everything that you need to know about the banking product you are applying for.  It is very important for you to read these documents before you sign any paperwork acknowledging that you are agreeing to the terms and conditions of the documents.  These terms and conditions spell out the fees that you will be subject to, the interest rate that will be applied to the account, and what actions will trigger penalties on the account.

Taking The Pain Out Of Budgeting

Written by Toi Williams on Dec 11th, 2012 | Filed under: mindset

Following a budget can be difficult, but budgeting is one of the best ways to limit your spending and ensure that you have funds available for your major needs.  If you are living paycheck to paycheck, budgeting can help you get a handle on your spending and start saving some money for your future.  If you are having trouble sticking to a budget, you may need to tweak your approach.  Here are some easy ways to take the pain out of budgeting.

Add Fun To Your Budget

One thing that many people do wrong when budgeting is they focus on all of the routine expenses, such as shelter, food, and utilities, and forget to add room in their budget for fun.  Adding a small amount of money for the things that you like to do, such as go to the movies or go out for an evening with friends, can change your whole attitude about budgeting and how difficult it is to stick to.  As long as you keep your entertainment budget within reason, it should fit into your budgeting nicely.

Find Your Own Way

There is no one size fits all solution to budgeting so it is important for you to find the way that works for you.  For some individuals, it helps to have a very detailed budgeting plan that accounts for everything, including saving, transportation costs, and discretionary spending.  Other people prefer to have their budget include broad categories that allows them to have some flexibility in their spending.  Try one way for a while and if it does not work for you, change your plan to make it easier for you to follow.  The goal is to have some kind of spending plan that outlines how you will spend your income.  You have to have some flexibility or both you and your budget will break under the pressure.

Three Money Rules That Can Keep You Out Of Debt

Written by Toi Williams on Dec 9th, 2012 | Filed under: mindset

Mastering your money is the single greatest thing that you can do to secure your future.  You need to increase your wealth and limit your debt as much as possible so that you can buy the things that you need and retire comfortably when the time comes.  Following these money rules can help you meet your financial goals and keep you out of debt trouble.

Focus On Needs, Limit Wants

There is a bug difference between the things that we need and the things that we want.  Our needs are limited but our wants can be endless.  People that focus on their wants and neglect to plan for their needs are the ones that find themselves in financial trouble that is difficult to extract themselves from.  Take the time to think about your spending priorities and consider each purchase carefully to ensure that you are not wasting money that could be better used for some other need.

Every Decision Has Its Cost

The decisions that we make every day affects the amount that we spend and the amount that we save.  Some choices that we make today, like putting off the maintenance for the car, have an increased cost in the future, such as the car breaking down and having to buy another one.  It is important to take all factors into consideration when making your decision.  Remember that every dollar that you spend is the result of a choice, so choose wisely.

Learn When To Cut Losses

Many people have an irrational belief that adding more money to a failed investment or plan will magically return the value that was lost before.  In most cases, throwing more money at the problem just means that you lose more of your money.  Learn when to cut your losses to retain the value that remains and you will find that you end up losing a lot less.