- Make goals for yourself. Your goal may be to put a certain amount of money aside towards retirement or pay off a certain amount of debt. It’s easy to waste money when you don’t have a plan in mind. Stick to your goals by writing them down and sticking to them every month. Make sure that they are reasonable and attainable. Not only can this monthly habit help you organize your finances, it also can be an incredibly empowering step.
- Pay off personal debt. If you have debt, and most people do, make paying off loans a top priority. Constant debt can hurt your credit score and keep you from fully enjoying life. You may want to consolidate debt or liquidate current assets to cut down on interest payments. Try to pay off loans as early as possible, even if that means cutting back on your current expenses now.
- Stop overspending. Many people struggle with impulse buys and paying far too much for things that they don’t need. A good budget can help to avoid this habit, but you may also want to look for additional ways to avoid splurging. Only shop with cash and leave your credit cards at home. Separate accounts also help you keep your money in specific areas so you can’t overspend. Whatever system works for you and keeps you on track financially is the one you should stick with.
- Change your credit card. If you’re paying for extra fees and expenses, then you need to ditch your card. Rewards cards are a great asset, especially cards for places you shop on a regular basis like grocery or gas company cards. Look at your current card to determine if you’re really getting enough and make a change if necessary.
- Automate your bill pay. You may be interested in paying all your bills manually every month, and that can be a safer option. However, for many expenses that are fixed such as internet and a car payment, having an automated payment makes your life much simpler. You can link up automatic payments to a separate account to review quickly once a month.
- Save for a rainy day. Maybe even a few of them! Always put some money aside every month as a financial cushion for when things go wrong. You may need this money for an emergency trip or any unexpected expense. When you have this money put aside, your life is much less stressful.
Check Your Tariff
How much you will pay on your energy bill will depend on not just your usage; the energy company tariff you are on pays a large part in what you pay out. It is important to consider the following:
- Are you on a fixed price tariff? Very popular, the fixed price tariff locks in the price of you gas and electricity until a set time which means that you only pay the unit price you agree at the beginning of the term, regardless of how energy prices rise elsewhere.
- Have you checked to see if another company will charge you less? Using a comparison site to check what the best deal is will save you a fortune in the long run.
- Have you opted for paperless billing and duel fuel? There are many discounts available for those who go green and scrap their money bills and statements through the post as there also is for those who chose to have their gas and electricity together with one company.
Reduce Your Usage
You pay for what you use therefore making changes around your home will save you money on your monthly or quarterly bill. Make sure that you switch lights off in rooms where they aren’t being used. Use draught excluders and keyhole covers to keep the cold out and reduce heating loss. Turn the heating down just a degree or so and drop your usage without feeling any real drop in temperature. Don’t leave electrical items on standby either as this uses as much energy as it would if they were fully switched on.
Payday payroll loans are typically used when there is not enough cash in the bank to cover money needs until the next paycheck comes around. If households have less debt, it would make sense that the need for fast cash would dwindle as well. There are important factors concerning this assumption. Mainly speaking, the household would have to a financial plan in place, proper budgeting skills as well as control on spending power in order for it to ring true.
Budgeting Skills – When debt numbers decrease, it doesn’t mean that money management can disappear. A budget is still as important in order to keep track of income. It is easy to slide away from accountability of the budget is not continually used for all levels of debt. Be accountable to continue paying off debt rather than upping spending power. A savings account is a great place to help store any excess cash to be used at a later date as needed.
Financial Plan – A budget runs much smoother when there is a plan to follow. Are you focusing on one particular high interest debt at a time in order to pay it off as fast as possible? Are you looking to buy a home or car and are working on increasing your credit potential to earn a low interest loan which will save you lots over the years of on-time payments? Maybe you are looking at increasing the amount in your savings and seeking an opportunity to create a retirement fund as well as maintain an emergency fund. The emergency savings would play a big role in whether or not a payroll cash advance loan will be used or not. Credit cards are often used, but if your finances have not recovered enough the alternative money options may still be the only access to extra cash during an emergency. Use your budget as a tool to monitor progress on any short or long term financial goals.
Spending Power – When there is excess money somewhere within the budget it takes lots of control to not spend it. The urge to get the latest in electronics, fashion or a night out on the town may prove difficult to control. What we think we deserve and what we can afford to treat ourselves with do not always match. Individuals may not even have extra cash, but face the itch of having available credit now that their debt has been lowered. It serves no good purpose to use this credit unless it is to alleviate an emergency cost. If there is no savings, a credit card is a good option as long as the interest is lower. Some credit cards have interest higher than short-term loans. Watch what you spend and have a plan to pay it back in order to keep the most income in your own pocket.
As for me, I was on this Level for a long, long time – probably a decade. I always thought there was a better place to put my money “to work.” Your money should be working for you, right? Every three or four months, I would amass a good chunk of my goal. I would see that money in my savings account and say, “I need to invest this money and get a return. It’s just sitting there.” And, I would try and skip this Level. There were years, I thought I was playing at Level VII, but really I was still playing Level III.
In the beginning, I would take that money and put it in some risky stock speculation. I wouldn’t even call it investing because I was watching the stock prices daily and making trading decisions on a daily basis. That is not investing. I would invariably end up losing 20% – 40% and sell the “investment.” Then I’d be down and put the cash back into my savings account. After another three or four months, when I saved up another good chunk of my goal, well, you know what happened next.
So, did I learn my lesson after the first few times? No. Did I learn in the first couple of years? No. Did I learn the importance of having cash set aside for emergencies? No. I’m stubborn. I’m “smart.” I can beat the “system.” And so I continued like that for years.
Another version of this lesson for me was why having extra cash around is so important. There are so many emergencies that can happen that require extra cash. If you don’t have the money sitting in a savings account, then you have to sell something to raise cash. Typically, you’re selling at a very inopportune time. Maybe taxes come up and you owe more than you think. If you don’t have cash, then you have to sell something. What if the economy is going through a recession? Typically the time you lose your job is the same time that the stock market is down 20% or more. That really hurts when you have to sell at a loss to raise cash. It’s almost having a process of “buying high and selling low” in your financial investments “system.” That is not going to increase your net worth over time. That is going to lose you money.
Let me tell you another reason why Level III is so important. Later in the game, we’re going to be investing in real estate and businesses that generate cash flow, but are not considered liquid. That means you can’t sell them easily. It’s going to take time to sell these non-liquid assets. It’s going to be more like selling a house than selling a stock on the stock exchange. These non-liquid assets are where a lot of the power is because of their ability to produce cash flow. We’ll be looking to buy them with the potential of never selling them. We won’t be looking for capital appreciation. We’ll be looking for cash flow. So, if you don’t have the proper reserves in place, and if you haven’t learned this lesson yet, you’re going to get yourself into a lot of trouble. Entire dynasties have been brought down because they didn’t have enough cash in the bank. An opportunity is only an opportunity if you can take advantage of it. Otherwise, it’s just a good idea. For you to be able to take advantage of an opportunity, you’re going to need cash. For you to be able to protect some of your other investments, you’re going to need cash.
It took me over a decade to learn this invaluable lesson. Save, at a minimum, three months of expenses in savings account for emergencies. Your emergency fund is the buffer in your system, the redundancy, that allows all the other systems in your financial structure to work well. It’s the grease, not the gas – but, both are needed in a well-running car to get you where you need to go.
- Tax Breaks: Most life insurance polices include a tax-free allowance that can be paid in each year. The payout, whether it is in a lump sum or instalments, is tax-free. This is also dependent on the total value of the estate, because it could be counted in the Inland Revenues’ calculations for inheritance tax. However if it is written into trust this can be avoided because it makes the pay out completely separate from the rest of the estate. Not all life insurance policies can be written in to trust, so it is advisable to check this before purchase.
- Peace Of Mind: This is often considered the biggest benefit of having this type of policy in place. You will be reassured that your funeral costs will be covered and your family will not be left with unpaid debts such as loans or credit card bills and the mortgage or rent.
- Added Extras: You will have the option to add critical illness and income protection cover to your policy if they are not already included on the life policy. This can provide essential protection should you be diagnosed with a long-term debilitating or terminal illness.
- Regulations: All providers must adhere to guidelines that have been set up by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Each company must have a clear and accessible complaints procedure in place. They will also need to deal with complaints in a timely manner as they are also required to report complaints to the regulatory bodies.
- You will be able to specify beneficiaries even if you have not created a will. |You can have one or multiple recipients. If the principle beneficiary has already died then the money will be split between those remaining or, if named, a secondary recipient.
- Most insurance companies provide an online calculator. This is to make it easier for you to figure out exactly how much money you would need to be paid on the claim to provide for your individual circumstances, ensuring your peace of mind and that the safety net in place is strong enough.
First, you need to pay all the available balances that you can pay. For example, if you have a credit card debt, pay the full amount. This will help you adjust your entire budget for the whole month. You will not longer have to worry about the statement. Of course, you need to sacrifice a little when you pull money out of your budget. But take note that paying the full credit debt will relieve you from interest rates. Interest rates eat up a bulk of your credit payments. In fact, you are actually just reducing your original debt in minimal amount. So the trick is to pay the entire debt whenever the statement comes in. It will also help you manage your existing money better.
Second, do not spend on things that are not very important. Most of the time, people use their credit cards to pay for emergency spending. This is the right way to use it. However, there are some who use it for nonsense spending. For example, one may be attracted to buy a new phone. It may cost several hundred dollars to purchase. Using a credit card, it means you are extending the amount because of the interest. So if you still have a working phone, there is no need to buy one. If you cannot help it, then use only cash values. Never use a credit card for such splurging as this will not benefit you at all.
Lastly, you need to reduce your reliance on debts. If you currently have existing debt accounts, do not add more. You will only have stacked debt accounts later. If you are still not finished paying for your loan, do not get another one. If you haven’t paid all the dues in your credit card, then do not use it yet. Until you have cleared out all your accounts, do not add up more debts. However, there are moments when we have to acquire money in order to pay for important things. This is acceptable and you are allowed to apply for a loan. But make sure that you minimize the fees and interest rates for them. This way, you can easily save more money so you can pay for them in the future.
First, only use credit when it is absolutely necessary. Never use credit for consumables such as groceries, utilities, etc. The one exception might be gasoline, if you discipline yourself to pay the card off in full each month. Did you know that if you pay your credit card by the due date you might be able to avoid interest charges for charges made during the billing cycle?
Second, the moment that “bonus” money (windfall, unexpected) comes in, apply it to the debt first! This is very important. Windfall money must not be spent frivolously, ignoring your debt. Don’t respond like a child. Respond as a responsible adult, making the right decisions rather than according to how you feel.
Third, STICK TO THE BUDGET. And, BELIEVE in tomorrow. You can believe in tomorrow when you manage your money. But, if you treat your money according to your feelings and luck, don’t be too surprised when tomorrow is a lot harder than you expected.
Do you want to be debt free?
- Plan your finances or become a prisoner of debt.
- Don’t spend more than you have.
- Respect yourself and your family and your future.
- You can either become an expert at managing your money, or an expert at getting into debt. How do you become a debt expert? By not planning and not managing your money.
- Part of growing up is taking responsibility for your finances including: showing up for work every day and doing better than you have to; planning what you will do with your paycheck, and sticking to the plan; paying yourself from every paycheck: put money in your savings account.
You can be debt free if you plan to be.
- Know your financial needs, priorities, goals, etc: What do you wish to achieve in your life, from a financial perspective? Is there a realistic way, to do so, by using personal discipline, and a focused approach/ plan? Will you begin financial planning, for your present, and future needs? What will you do, to plan, for your children’s educational costs? How about your retirement? Many give up, because they feel, they do not have the ability to achieve these objectives, but, most people do, if they plan, far enough ahead, and discipline themselves, consistently. After all, you pay many bills, every month, including your mortgage/ rent, utilities, and other current needs, so wouldn’t it make sense, to proceed, with the discipline and attitude, to pay yourself, first?
- Periodic payments/ installments; dollar – cost averaging: For the average person, the best way, to attain and maintain, a significant, diversified portfolio, is to use, what is referred to, as, a periodic payment plan. This means, every month, preferably on a specific date (same time each month), putting the same amount into a mutual fund. This should be, a diversified, balanced fund, in order to perform, in a variety of market conditions, etc. Dollar – cost averaging means, since, the price of the fund, generally fluctuates, you will purchase a different number of shares, for the same dollars, but, hopefully, over – time, this approach will be extremely beneficial, and grow.
- Discipline: This type of approach, will only work, successfully, when you proceed, with a self – imposed, discipline, to pay this bill, to yourself, every single month. In the longer – term, you will benefit, because, you will, without feeling much pain, build up a significant portfolio. Wise people realize, your success, is up – to – you!
Search engines judge a website based mostly on its content, and the content of those linking in. Audiences are built on the strength of that content, and expect to get regular updates with more fresh and useful articles, blog posts or newsletters. This has made many businesses unable or unwilling to cope, and as such they need others to write high quality content in plain English for them.
You can approach those businesses directly, but if you are starting up your best option is using third party websites that act as a middleman, guarantee payment and protect both buyers and sellers from unscrupulous scammers. If you are looking to write in English sites such as oDesk or Elance offer projects, Fiverr allows you to place an article writing gig paying you $4 and Textbroker has a steady stream of requests directly from website owners at varying prices depending on your writing skills.
If you want to get rid of your debt, you’ll need to come up with a plan. Decide how many articles you can write during your week. Maybe you can wake up one hour early every day, and fit two articles on that time that you can edit and submit at lunchtime. Or maybe instead of watching TV during the evening you can research and write articles for your clients. The key to this is being regular and making it part of your daily routine. If you manage to write 4 articles a day, at $15 each, that’s about $1200 a month. After taxes it would be a nice dent on your credit card debt, wouldn’t it?
Everybody can write, but not all writers are paid the same or enjoy the same levels of demand. If you have specialist skills on a particular area, from nursing to business management or computer programming, make sure to write your profile in a way that showcases that experience. Building up a portfolio of grammatically perfect work and satisfied customer reviews will help you catch the attention of higher paying customers, reducing the amount of articles you need to write in order to get rid of your debt and giving you access to more interesting projects.
Mistakes People Make
When you’re burdened with multiple debts, it’s easy to lose track and end up not paying on time, thereby attracting late payment fees and perhaps even eventual debt recovery process. You might not only miss out on interest free periods, but also end up paying hundreds of dollars a month for late fees.
Another mistake people make is that they make only the minimum payment to cover the interest amount without thinking about ways to clear off the principal.
People try to avoid banks, especially if they are sure they won’t be able to meet a repayment schedule – that’s unfortunate because communicating with the bank might actually help you to defer payments or save you from late fee charges.
When people opt for consolidation, they may forget to close their high risk personal loans which would still attract charges even if they’ve moved it to a low interest consolidated loan.
Efficient Debt Management Solutions
One of the best ways to achieve efficient debt management is to seek the advice of professional debt management companies, but more on that later.
The first step you can take is to stop accumulating more debts on your credit cards and overdrafts. This simple step can help in reducing your minimum monthly repayment schedule.
You can get rid of all your debts on high risk personal loans by opting for consolidation method. Some lenders might be charging you up to 20 % or more by way of interest. A possible solution for this is to combine all your debts into a single debt which can clear off by taking a low interest loan. Professional debt management companies have contacts in the finance industry and can easily source such loans for you. This will help to shelve your interest liability and lower your overall debt burden.
Find Cheap Service Providers
Budgeting is another simple, effective means that even professional debt management solutions providers advise. You can easily make a note of your expenditure and income every month and see if there are any areas where you can cut costs. For example, you can always find good deals and bigger savings for services such as internet, phone, cable TV or health insurance. You can use the money saved to clear off your debts.
Reducing the Principal
Consolidation packages offered by debt management companies can help with interest rate reduction, but you also need to think of ways to pay off the principal amount or else you might end up having to deal with debt recovery hassles.
You can do it by giving priority to your debts and using any monthly savings to pay them off. Traditional savings avenues such as bank deposits hardly offer more than 6% rates of interest whereas your debts attract much higher rates; it makes sense to use part of your savings to eliminate debt completely.
Professional debt management companies offer affordable and realistic debt relief services – they can help with consolidation loans for debt, mortgage refinancing loans, debt agreements and more. Speak to a professional to have your financial matters sorted out. It’s worth the time and money to get some peace of mind.