Top 5 Frugal Living Tips – Living On A Budget

Why Frugal Living? Many couples are now deferring becoming parents and instead opt for getting a mortgage, traveling and preparing for retirement before junior arrives. The reason is the economic cost of passing up double wages and living on one income.

How do you do it?

Well, if you’re reading this for the first time scratching your head and pondering this very question understand that you’re not the first. And you most certainly won’t be the last couple to face this dilemma. It’s a big decision and you are probably already adding up all the creature comforts (the daily latte, magazine subscriptions, 2-door coupe) that are going to be side-lined when you start on your frugal living path.

But it doesn’t have to be all bad! Reducing the working hours of one partner can free up some more lifestyle choices as well. Holidays are easier to juggle (albeit harder to pay for), socializing time is freed up and odd jobs around the house can be accomplished without spending weekends rushing around.

If you planning on living on one income in the near future you might want to peruse the 5 frugal living tips.

5 Frugal Living Tips

Frugal Living Tips BudgetAddress The Budget – Procrastinate in creating a budget will only mean delayed, and harder, results of limited spending. You can’t keep the same spending habits when your family income goes from 100K to 50K. Some immediate savings are going to come from work-related expenses for the partner who has left the workforce such as parking, transport fees, fuel, cafe lunches etc. Other areas that might need to be pruned are non-essential items such as the weekly manicure, daily newspaper, cable-TV subscription. It may seem like you’re giving up a lot but in essence your just removing what you filled your double income up with.

Consolidate Any Loans or Credit Cards – this is an area where you can make huge immediate savings. If your mortgage length is 25 years try extending it over a 30 year time span. Of course you will end up paying more interest but it is better to have a mortgage that is achievable than default on one that’s not. Provided you don’t fix the interest rate you can supplement payments as and when you receive extra monies.

Frugal Living Can Be Painless

Buying in Bulk & Thinking Ahead – This seems like one of the most obvious frugal living tips, but the mind set of most individuals is well it’s only $1… that’s not going to make a difference. Let’s say you purchase two diet cokes every day at work from the vending machine for $1 each. We’ll assume you work 5 days a week for the whole year (260 days). You’re spending $520 a year on diet coke from the vending machine. Now assume you purchase the diet coke from the store when it’s on sale for $4 for a 12 pack. Now you’re average price per diet coke is $.25, so you’re spending $130 annual. You’d save yourself $390 a year. Being prepared and buying in bulk is one of the best frugal living tips, since it doesn’t impact your life style.

Find Supplemental Income Sources – there are so many opportunities today for stay-at-home mums or dads. Be creative and use your time well. Even an extra $50 per week can help out the family budget.

Increase Your Salary Insurance – the risk losing one salary while both partners are working isn’t too detrimental. This should only be considered if you’re only living on one income. Salary Insurance protects the main income in case of death, disablement or if the breadwinner has contracted a terminal illness. Work related accident insurance is covered by your employment (unless self-employed) but Salary Insurance protects against things you can’t.

Make some wise choices and frugal living on one income shouldn’t be too hard. Ignore the fact that your lifestyle will need to change and you will find that problems will continue to mount regardless of your nonchalance.

Credit Score Myths & Credit Report Facts

Common Credit Misconceptions

There are many myths and misconceptions associated with credit and FICO scores. We’re going to clear up credit score myths and credit report facts. The following is a list of the most commonly held with a brief explanation of what is actually true in regards to these.

 

5 Credit Score Myths & Credit Report Facts

 

1. The FICO Score is Solely Determinate of Whether a Loan is Granted

The truth is that, while important, a FICO score is just one of many factors that lenders consider when judging whether or not to extend credit. Some of the other factors generally taken into consideration are the amount of debt the borrower can handle based on income and other current debts, employment history, credit history, and various policies unique to the specific lending institution. A low score does not automatically disqualify a potential borrower, nor does a high score always guarantee acceptance.

2. A Poor Credit Score is a Permanent Black Mark

A credit score is essentially a snapshot in time. It is made up of several constantly fluctuating factors as consequently will change over time to reflect these factors. As time passes negative entries in a credit report will have less and less effect. Sometimes a significant improvement to an individuals score can occur in as little as a year or two.

3. Credit Scoring Discriminates Unfairly Against Various Minorities

This is not true. Race, gender, age, religion and marital status are prohibited by law from being included in FICO scores or being used as determining factors when evaluating credit worthiness of a prospective borrower. Studies have shown that FICO scores are an accurate measure of someone’s credit worthiness irrespective of their minority status.

4. FICO Scores Are An Invasion of My Privacy

Actually the opposite tends to be true. All of the information used to compile credit scores is already available to lending institutions. Remember a FICO score is merely a number used to quantify the various factors used to judge credit worthiness. Typically, lenders give enough importance to the score that they will ask for LES personal information on credit applications.

5. Applying For New Credit Will Lower a Person’s Score

Generally this is not true, as a result multiple inquiries could possible indicate higher risk, but if there are multiple inquiries from mortgage or auto lenders in a short period of time it is considered to be a single inquiry and will not affect someone’s credit score.

Now we know the credit score myths and credit report facts, it’s time to get working on your credit score! Check Out: How to Improve Credit Score in 30 days!

Improve Your Credit In 5 Easy Steps

Are you ready to improve your credit in 5 easy steps? You may be thinking “Improve your credit in 5 easy steps? I have bad credit… Is this applicable to me? Will this work?” Yes! Improving your bad credit score is possible with very little effort. Let’s get started on improving your credit score!

Improve Your Credit In 5 Easy Steps

Improve Your Credit In 5 Easy Steps

Improve Your Credit In 5 Easy Steps

1. Improve your payment history:

This one is obvious but is so central to restoring a good credit rating that it merits mentioning. There are some simple steps that you can take to help you maintain a timely payment history. Write the due date on the front of the envelope. Just the mere act of writing the date down will help formulate it in your mind and elevate its prominence. Set a specific time each month for paying bills, for example, the second and forth Sunday of each month. By setting aside a time devoted to paying your bills you will avoid a payment slipping your mind. Another benefit of scheduling payments in this way is that it will be easier to set and meet your personal budget. Pay by automatic electronic transfer or by going online. If possible have a reminder sent to you by email, most companies now offer this service and many do it by default.

2. Reduce the amount you owe:

Keeping balances low on revolving credit is very important. The higher the percentage of the balance you owe versus your available credit the worse it is for your FICO score. Try to keep your balances at 10% or less of your available credit. Reducing the amount you owe will also reduce your monthly payments, which will make it easier for you to make timely payments. Transferring your account balances to credit cards with lower interest rates is certainly helpful but remember that paying off debt rather than just moving it around is always preferable.

3. Keep your “length of credit” high:

The higher the average age of your accounts is the better. With all other factors being equal an account that you have maintained for ten years will have a greater positive effect on your credit score than an account which you have had for only one year. Also, keep in mind that if you open too many new accounts all at once the average age of your accounts will drop, which will lower your score.

4. Apply for new credit within a confined time period:

When applying for new credit, if you submit multiple applications to different sources do so in a short period of time, this way they will all be counted as a search for one single loan. If you spread the applications out over an extended period of time they will appear as separate loan inquiries, which will have a negative impact on your score.

5. Maintain a small number of credit cards:

Improve Your Credit In 5 Easy Steps Credit Cards

If you presently do not have any credit cards try to obtain a limited amount of credit cards and make timely payments on them. Having no credit cards at all will have a negative impact on your FICO score. If need be, set up a secured credit card or two. They are very easy to obtain, as they are seen as having an extremely low risk from a bank’s perspective.

How To Stop Impulse Buying

How to stop impulse buying?

I’ve received a lot of question about “How to stop impulse buying?” Everything about shopping is designed to make us feel delicious. The bags and boxes, labels and logos all add up to a dizzying experience. Slide in lights, music, colors, shapes, smells and designs and it’s little wonder we succumb. It’s all a science of course, a science whose only purpose is to part us with our money.

It begins with the way things are named and packaged. There are no accidents at the perfume counter or Apple Store. The shapes, names, and images that underpin these objects of desire are chosen for their power to enthral. The pinlights in the ceiling, the fleeting flashing graphics and the artfully arranged displays have all been tested, evaluated and scored. When we walk into a shopping center or department store our path has been planned. The aisles are laid out so as to lead us deeper and deeper into wonderland – Until we land with a bump at the end of the month and realize we’ve hammered the plastic again.

Why do are we predisposition to impulse buying?

how to stop impulse buying shopping

When we were children we went shopping and wanted everything. Now we’re grownups we can go shopping and have everything, at least until we hit our credit limit. Shops are enemy territory. 98% of what they sell ends up as landfill. And yet that New Thing compels our attention. That “New Thing” is the thing we now can’t live without. We didn’t know about it until today but now; now we can’t live without it.

In our hearts we know that nothing we buy ever keeps its promise of fulfillment but we carry on believing the spiel over and over again. It’s almost like we’re hypnotized. In a way, some of us are. Some of us are wired to get out of feeling rotten by buying stuff. It doesn’t work, at least not in the long term. A better way to get out of feeling rotten is to prove to yourself that you’re actually quite clever. If something is truly desirable today then it will be equally desirable next week. Rather than snapping everything up immediately put a shopping together and study the retail cycle. Plan a bit. Remember, 10% off doesn’t amount to much if you’re paying 27% interest.

How to stop impulse buying? Recognize you have a problem

If you’re a shopaholic, recognize that it’s an addiction. Other people, people you don’t know, can press a button in your head and make you spend right up to the limit. Impulse buying fills our cupboards with stuff that’s never quite as wonderful as it seemed in the shop. It gives us a momentary rush now, and a comedown at the end of the month. Like all addictions it borrows fun from tomorrow to enjoy today. Like all addictions the buzz never makes up for the payback. And, like all addictions, it can be kicked.

Alcoholics avoid pubs. Shopaholics avoid shops. There’s a life beyond retail. Start enjoying it. Stop shopping.

Steps To Becoming Debt Free

Steps To Becoming Debt FreeIs Becoming Debt Free Possible For Me?

YES!! There comes a time when most sane people have had enough….Enough stress and embarrassment….Enough collection calls and harassment…. Enough being in debt! Living the lifestyle that you think you have to live simply because others expect you to is foolish. It is time to grow up and to finally start acting like an adult.

No matter what you may hear from the popular newspapers, your debt problems
cannot be traced to anyone but you. The economy did not cause your problems. George Bush did not cause your problems. You did. You signed that stupid car loan at 12% interest. You signed up, and subsequently maxed out, those credit cards. No one else did it for you.

If you are finally tired of the mess that you created, there is a way out. Becoming debt free will allow you to start living the life you have always wanted. All it takes is a plan.

Enter Dave Ramsey!

Dave Ramsey is a well respected, nationally syndicated radio talk show host and TV personality, who is quite simply ‘the’ expert with respect to personal money management. Over the past few years, Dave has helped thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people get their debt under control and changed their lives forever. Additionally, Dave has helped people understand the true power of passive income. I am one of these people.

What I like most about Dave Ramsey is his straight talking, in your face, attitude who will blast apart any objections that you may have. Teaching from a Christian perspective, he truly has your best interest at heart, even while sometimes appearing cruel, or downright mean. Over the course of dispensing financial advice, he has developed what he calls ‘The Baby Steps’.

What Are The Baby Steps?

Often people get frustrated by all of the possibilities available to them. Information is great, yet information overload can be tragic. In order to help people process what is important, and what is just noise, Dave developed the following plan.

1. Build a Small Emergency Fund of $1,000

The first thing you should do is save $1,000 as fast as you can. Do whatever you have to do to put this money in the bank. Sell some old stuff on eBay or Craigslist. Get a second job bagging groceries at a grocery store. Create your own affiliate marketing empire online. Whatever it takes!

Once you save this money, keep it in the bank for true emergencies. Do not use it for a nice vacation. Do not go out and buy yourself a new set of golf clubs. Becoming debt free requires having this money set aside for true emergencies in the first step. If something does happen, you will not have to use your credit card to pay for it! You can use cash!

2. Start Your Debt Snowball

This is the step where most people begin to understand just how difficult it can be to get rid of debt. It takes a lot of effort, dedication and teamwork to power through this step. For some people, it may take two years to finally complete it. For others, it may only take a few months.

Here is the basic approach:

* Make a list of all our your debts from the smallest amount to the largest. List ALL of your debts, except for you house (this debt actually is accounted for later on).

* After all of your necessities are paid (food, shelter, transportation and clothing), pay the minimum amounts on all of your debts. As a side note, you should be current on all of your debts before you begin this step. In fact, I think you should be current on all of your debts before you complete your initial emergency fund.

* Any additional money that can be squeezed from your budget should be applied to your smallest debt. This is extra money, in addition to the minimum payments that you are already paying. Do not consider interest rates when determining which bill to pay extra on. Pay off your smallest debts first and ignore the mathematics involved.

* Once you have completely paid off the smallest debt, put all of the money you were paying on that debt on the next smallest debt.

* Repeat this process until you are debt free living, except for your mortgage.

3. Complete Your Emergency Fund

In step one, you saved $1,000 to cover minor emergencies while you begin to eliminate your debt. In baby step three, you will now complete your emergency fund. A fully funded emergency fund should cover between three to six months of expenses. This is your main security blanket.

How great would it feel to know that even if you lost your job, you would be OK while searching for a new one. Guys, a fully funded emergency fund is the best gift you can give to your wife. She will sleep so much more sounded at night when you have one.

4. Invest 15% of Your Income for Retirement

You have now finally reached the step where you start thinking about your retirement. You have no debt, except for maybe your mortgage, have a fully funded emergency fund and are well on your way to changing your family’s future.

Invest 15% of your gross income, not your take home. Do not cheat yourself out of potential growth. Additionally, if your company has some form of retirement match, do not include it in your calculations. Invest the full amount yourself and consider anything else just icing on the cake.

5. Save for College (if applicable)

According to Dave’s book, The Total Money Makeover, 68% of Americans have saved nothing for their child’s college education. This is a tragic oversight, which is putting thousands of students in debt before they even have a chance.

In this step, begin investing such plans ESA and 529s. If you do not know what these terms mean, simply type them into Google, and do a bit of research. New plans are being creating every day, so it may be best to talk to a qualified financial planner.

6. Pay Off The Mortgage

Who would have thought when you began this process, that you would actually be debt free (except for the mortgage), have a fully funded emergency fund, be saving for your retirement and be saving for your child’s college education? You have come a long way and you should congratulate yourself.

You are not, however, completely done yet. In baby step six, you will now start paying off your mortgage early. Treat this exactly like you treated your other debt in step two and figure out a way to pay more directly to the principle each month.

7. Build Wealth

This is the step most people only dream about. You are now debt free and can truly live free from any debt or burden, free from the stress of being able to pay your monthly bills and free to know that you will have something saved for your retirement.

In this step, build wealth and then…..give it away. Give some to family. Give some to churches, Support something you believe in. Create a lasting legacy for your family.

Conclusion
Being in debt is not the end. It does not have to be part of your life. Becoming debt free just requires the right plan.

How to Improve Credit Score in 30 days

Best Ways on How to Improve Credit Score in 30 DaysHow to improve credit score in 30 days

I’ve received a lot of emails on “How to improve credit score in 30 days” There are lots of ways to improve your credit rating. It can be as follows

Avoid Opening Unwanted New Credit Accounts

Too many accounts are a burden and cumbersome to manage. Nevertheless, they sap out your critical resources. Moreover, they reduce the average life of your credit accounts. Whatever weight age you had with your existing accounts will get dampened by opening new accounts, if you don’t use them.

Don’t close accounts in a hurry

Closing down additional accounts may help you in the short term. But prospective creditors will unnecessarily get alerted as they remain on the credit report. This sure will have a negative impact on your report.

Review your credit report regularly

You can order your free reports from all the three reporting agencies once a year. But the smarter way is to get them at spaces of four months each. This cost free way gets you reviewing the credit report regularly and helps to identify and remove errors from the reports. According to FICO this helps improve your credit rating by about 10%.

Meet a professional

Seeking professional help is advisable. But take care not to fall into trap laid out by scam masters who vanish as fast as they appeared. There are some non profit organizations which help you improve your credit rating.

Get Your Act Together; You are Not Alone

IF you are worried about how you can do all these things, it is not surprising. It is natural for anyone who is at the end of the road of his financial life. First of all, trace back the reasons that lead you to this situation. It can be one of the now more common of the reasons, like job loss, a marriage divorce or a personal accident etc. It is true that each one of these has a potential to set you back financially by years. But don’t panic now. The fundamental truth in your quest to improve credit rating lies in your courage and meticulous planning and finally your perseverance to execute it.

Improving credit ratings is not all about formulating strategies. Are you thinking “I can improve my credit rating!”? Following the steps to improve credit rating involves a huge amount of discipline and hard work. Now you’re ready to Improve Your Credit In 5 Easy Steps!

Credit Report Repair Secrets

There are lots of secrets involved in repairing your credit report. Some of them are as follows.

Restrict Accessing Your Own Credit Report

Did you know frequently accessing your credit report will be marked in your report for two years? And do you know how creditors view this remark? This is a sure sign of unstable and insecure financial status or the likelihood of it. Check out CreditKarma.com for a free credit report.

Get Your Credit Report cleaned Up

You know that undisputed and accurate negative points continue for 7 years on your report. But the errors don’t have any reasons to be there. If you left them unattended they hurt your credit report for all those 7 years and getting them out will certainly help boost up your credit.

Do Credit Report Repair Yourself

If you can get a friend or a relative to co-sign for a new credit, just do it. This gives a double edged advantage. On one hand you have a new credit that takes care of your immediate necessities and on the other it offers a chance to repair your credit report by being steady in your repayments. You can also try out a secured loan. The monthly installments paid by you on this will begin to show up on your credit report apart from giving a low interest loan.

Credit Report Repair Yourself Kits

Credit report repairing is a big business opportunity. Nevertheless, there are so many companies that claim to fix up your credit for a fee. This is no bad a thing except for the claim that they can repair your credit report in a short time. There is no guarantee that it can be fixed if the points are accurate. So, repairing the report is one thing, but controlling the expenses and rebuilding it is something which takes a lot from you. Begin the exercise yourself. But mind you, this is no less a task than test by fire!

View Our Other Article On Credit Report Repair

Is Credit Report Repair Possible?

There are lot of hype about credit report repair and whether credit report repair is possible or not is the lingering question for most. If you the basics of it , you can certainly make it possible .Here are the ways to repair credit report.

The article covers:

  • How to rebuild your credit report?
  • Steps on how to rebuild your credit
  • Credit report repair secrets

The big question most of the Americans with bad credit are asking is how to rebuild your credit? And what are the credit report repair secrets? One can understand the deliberate urgency of all of them given the economic situation that just passed by. In the following paragraphs let us try to see whether your credit report repair is possible and how.

Credit report repair is not an entirely difficult job provided you know the basics. There are no such things as credit report repair secrets as you are made to believe by the hawks in the field. The various steps on how to rebuild your credit are as follows.

Track Your Expenses

Fundamentally, in most of the cases, credit problems begin when you forget to understand the flow of income and expenses. Having a budget for domestic spending may sound too restrictive for many. At the end of the month, if your expenses are over shooting (even if it is just close to) your income, this is the time you get alert. Having a wise budget and adhering to it is the first step towards rebuilding credit report, if yours is a bad credit report (or else, is a step to avoid falling into bad credit).

Control Your Expenses and Debt

Controlling expenses is easier said than done. What you can possibly do is review the track you kept on all expenses over the month. Holy! This is sure to throw some shocks at you. You see certain expenses you wouldn’t have probably done had you budgeted. Creditors see controlled expenses as evidence of stability.

Use Your Credit as a Step to Rebuild Your Credit

It is obvious that creditors want to see your credit history. The only way you can do this is through monthly paying credit account. Making small purchases regularly and paying them off within the stipulated time will avoid interest being levied to you apart from helping credit report repair silently.

Watch your credit report

Watching your credit report regularly helps you incredibly. If you are turned down a credit by some creditor, you can call a free (or a paid) credit report to locate the exact reason for the decline. If the reason for that bad point is not correct or incomplete you can get it removed from your credit report. Even otherwise, you can work out a plan of action to erase it.

Best Ways To Improve Credit Rating

Top 5 Ways To Improve Credit Rating

Avoid Opening Unwanted New Credit Accounts

Too many accounts are a burden and cumbersome to manage. Nevertheless, they sap out your critical resources. Moreover, they reduce the average life of your credit accounts. Whatever weight age you had with your existing accounts will get dampened by opening new accounts, if you don’t use them.

Don’t close accounts in a hurry

Closing down additional accounts may help you in the short term. But prospective creditors will unnecessarily get alerted as they remain on the credit report. This sure will have a negative impact on your report.

Review your credit report regularly

You can order your free reports from all the three reporting agencies once a year. But the smarter way is to get them at spaces of four months each. This cost free way gets you reviewing the credit report regularly and helps to identify and remove errors from the reports. According to FICO this helps improve your credit rating by about 10%.

Meet a professional

Seeking professional help is advisable. But take care not to fall into trap laid out by scam masters who vanish as fast as they appeared. There are some non profit organizations which help you improve your credit rating.

Get Your Act Together; You are Not Alone

IF you are worried about how you can do all these things, it is not surprising. It is natural for anyone who is at the end of the road of his financial life. First of all, trace back the reasons that lead you to this situation. It can be one of the now more common of the reasons, like job loss, a marriage divorce or a personal accident etc. It is true that each one of these has a potential to set you back financially by years. But don’t panic now. The fundamental truth in your quest to improve credit rating lies in your courage and meticulous planning and finally your perseverance to execute it.

Improving credit ratings is not all about formulating strategies. If you are thinking &I; can improve my credit rating”, think again. Following the steps to improve credit rating involves a huge amount of discipline and hard work. If you succeeded in your endeavor, you can teach others how to improve credit rating.