• Lower your monthly payments
  • Reduce stress and live your life
  • Avoid personal bankruptcy court

Know about Payday Loans

Payday loans are a perpetual trap that many American families rely on to make ends meet every payday. Many families’ incomes fall short within that time frame, and they have a hard time providing just the necessities.

To make up for this shortfall, may families take out a “quick” payday loan, in which they borrow a small amount of money that must be paid back by their next payday. However, these loans are laden with finance charges and costs that cause the borrowers to sink deeper and deeper into debt. Consumers are rarely able to pay back the loan within the two weeks. Actually, many consumers believe that they will be able to repay the loan within the two-week time frame with no problem.

Initially, it sounds like a good idea. The consumer borrows money to tide them over. In two weeks, they make the minimum payment, say $50. They feel like they are making progress on their loan because they made a payment. But in actuality, they total amount is the principal, plus the $50. Each minimum payment made is merely an extension of time to pay the debt, with fees continuing to incur every time a small payment amount is made.

Another downfall regarding one of these types of loans is that consumers rarely completely understand the terms of the loan. Many payday lenders advertise an interest rate of $15 per every $100 borrowed. This sounds like a great deal, especially considering that most credit cards charge an average of 20-plus percent in interest. In actuality, that’s a very high rate. Consider a loan of $375 with a fee of $55. If you were to roll over that loan for an entire year, you would pay over $1,400 in fees. That’s almost four times the original loan amount.

One reason consumers choose payday loans over other lending options is the lack of knowledge that other viable options exist. For example, many consumers do not realize that many banks offer similar products as payday loans, but at a much better rate. Some banks offer a product called a deposit advance loan, which charges between $7.50 to $10 per $100 borrowed, compared to the $15 per $100 borrowed that most payday loan companies advertise.

The government is attempting to impose stricter requirements on payday loan businesses practices, particularly when it comes to substantiating the debtor’s salary prior to authorizing an extension of credit. Some states restrict payday loans by putting a max on the number of times a borrower may borrow per year. And, some states have placed limits on the maximum annual percentage that can be charged. Unfortunately, some states are not doing as well when it comes to placing limits on these payday loan companies.

There are currently state laws administering checks and balances against these payday loan companies, but the federal government wishes to become a watchdog for the American people as well. The federal government believes that it is common sense for a lender to verify a potential borrower’s income before approving a loan. The federal government believes that these loans are bad news and need to be closely watched and monitored.

These new regulations would apply to those companies presenting themselves as payday loan companies, as well as car title loans. These companies force the debtor to sign over their title to their vehicle as collateral in the event the debtor fails to repay the loan. Moreover, the borrower must pay the entire loan back in only 45 days. That is not much time to repay something in which such a high-valued asset is at stake. As with payday lenders, car title lenders would be required to certify the person’s income and ability to repay the loan.

Additionally, a mandatory waiting period would be enforced after the last loan. This would prevent the borrower from taking out another payday or similar loan within sixty days from their previous loan. And, reasonable payment choices would be mandatory, loans must be less than $500, and these companies would be disallowed from requiring a vehicle as a surety, or charge sequential fees.

Payday loan companies disagree; pointing out that too many people would lose access to any loans if these stricter rules and regulations were put in place.

So what are some other viable options for consumers who may need a short-term boost to their income? Some suggestions are obtaining a second job for a short period of time, performing miscellaneous side jobs, or if push comes to shove, borrow money from a friend or relative until your finances can smooth back out. Payday loans and car title loans are extremely risky and high-cost, so use these financing methods as an absolute last resort. The government is doing what it can to watch out for the consumer, but we must also be our own advocates. So, do your research on these loans and possible other financing options, and borrow responsibly.

5 Key Retirement Factors Your Financial Plan May Not Address

Planning for the future is extremely important if you want your life to go smoothly when you begin to grow old. It’s quite important that you make a financial plan immediately as soon as you can in order to live life fully and comfortably in the future. You might not believe it, but other factors greatly influence the effectiveness of your plan. And no, they’re not your math skills or how much you earn in your job or how much you think you’re going to earn in the future. Things that you probably take for granted such as yourself, your habits and your mindset is what will determine your wealth in the future. What you need is a financial plan.


You’re probably thinking that I’m not making any sense right now. But the truth is, it’s the small things that ultimately determine where you will be in the future. The small things may not look like anything at first, but they’re actually going to be the one’s you’re going to wish you would have changed back when you were young. Things that your financial plan will show you to help you improve.

Let’s analyse some of these “small things” and see how fixing them can improve your chances of a successful retirement. Your financial plan will be the key to help you identify any areas where your finances need improvement.

Start Working On Your Assets That Aren’t Associated With Your Portfolio

This is one of the first and most important rules for your financial plan and that’s why it’s at the top of the list.

We have many material possessions, and is probably the reason why we have houses. Our houses are there to protect us and our family, to keep us cosy despite harsh weather conditions, and it’s there so we can store our possessions there. The problem is that most of these material possessions are just cluttering up our houses and most of us refuse to see that. Many of these material possessions can be immediately turned into cash and that cash can be used to invest in different things that can make your money multiply by tenfold. It’s important to note that a lot of those things can actually be an old bike or an old car you don’t use anymore, that rusty screwdriver collection in the attic or those old antique books you’ve been keeping for Christmas. Try selling these for a profit. Someone’s bound to buy these things and when they do, you’re left with a pile of cash that can go places.

Start Working On… Yourself

You may or may not know it, but in reality, YOU are your biggest asset. You are your own asset and what truly matters is what you’ve accomplished, what you can do in the future and what skills you currently have. Think about it: it doesn’t matter what type of job that you can get if YOU’RE not there to do it. Your best investment is yourself. So start maximizing that investment by expanding your horizon, learning more skills and budgeting your money assets better. 

Your Biggest Asset Is… Still You

Health is wealth. That’s probably one of the truest sayings in the world. If you’re sick and down all the time, you’re probably not going to be able to earn as much as you could if you were energetic and healthy.

  • Be sure to always take care of your body any way you can.
  • Exercise when you get the time.
  • Eat right.
  • Sleep early.

These are just some of the things you can do for yourself. It may not seem like much, but without good health, there’s not much you can really do.

Start Working On Your… Habits?

As mentioned earlier, the little things you do often determine the big things in the future. If you behave recklessly and splurge all of your money on shopping, then you’re bound to be on a one-way course to failure. It’s the little habits that matter the most. Money doesn’t grow on trees. You have to make ways to earn money. Discipline is the key. If you’re undisciplined and cannot control yourself most of the time, a good place to start would be with your habits. Do your best to start practicing good discipline. It’ll pay off more than you could ever dream to even think about.

Invest In… Your Family?

You may not know it, but your family is one of the biggest investments you could ever have. Apart from the inheritances you could gain from them, their love and care, their support and emotional care are the truly important things you can gain from them. Studies have shown that a person who was supported dutifully by their parents was more likely to succeed in life when compared to a person whom has had a rocky relationship with their parents. Our families are the people that care and support for us, and it’s quite important that we support them back. By investing in time with them, we are strengthening not only a family bond, but a financial bond as well. When you are faced with a myriad of troubles with your money, a strong bond with your family is bound to help you get out of it.

Examine and imbibe your financial plan. Your retirement will arrive in time and you will be ready for it if you do.

The Biggest Financial Hurdles For 20-Somethings

A person’s 20s are there most fun, exciting and stressful parts years of their life. This part in their life is full of so many opportunities, yet hard because of the change that you are sure to encounter. You will need to stay strong in this time because you will need to pay for a lot of things that you will need. Your financial status will be extremely important in this stage. In this stage, you will realize just how important money really is. Fortunately, you will also develop different means and ways to get money (legally, of course). In this article, we will tackle how you can get over some of the biggest financial hurdles you will experience in your life.


Focus And Do Your Best

It might be cliché but it’s true. You are your strongest self during these times, and it’s best to exploit it as much as you can. When you land on your first job, do your best to outperform everyone else. Ask for overtime work hours. Do more projects. Show your boss and your company that you’re one of the best assets they have. If you work hard enough, they will recognize your effort and will reward you immensely. Many young people at the age of their 20s usually focus on having a good time. Time is passing you by, and it’s best that you focus on having a good record while you’re still young.

Seize Opportunities 

Don’t complain if your first pay check is much lower than what you had actually expected. You’re still starting out, and you’re starting out at the bottom of the ladder. You need to prove yourself first before you start earning the big bucks. However, if your pay is still low, and you feel that you’re not getting anywhere, don’t quit your job just yet. Feel free to ask for a promotion or a raise if you’ve done more than your job to earn it. If you get declined, then go ahead and look for a new job. It’s important to make yourself aware of the many opportunities that lie while you’re at this stage in your life.

No Credit No Problem

If you happen to be a fresh graduate, chances are that you don’t have any credit history behind you. Having a credit card is one of the best things that can happen to you, so long as you handle the responsibility. The new credit card law dictated that college students need to have a parent or a grown up the age of 21 or older to co sign with them. This has hampered their ability to explore the world of credit building. Make sure you apply for a credit card as soon as you reach the required age. Being responsible and knowing about credibility at a young age can help you hand credit cards better in the future. Make sure you do not fall behind your bills though, as doing so can negatively affect your credit. Make sure you show people that you’re more than ready to handle credit and that you can handle paying the bills just fine. Doing so can make people trust you and in turn, will give you a higher credit rating.

No Financial Experience? No Problem!

There are many financial hurdles that await you. There are also many financial opportunities that await you as well. You might choose to purchase a vehicle or a house or an apartment. At this time of your life, everything is up in the air. It all might seem intimidating… because it is. Here are some tips to help you in this intimidating part in your life:

• Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help. There are many people who are willing to help you so long as you take the time and effort to ask them. Oftentimes, the best advice you can have is actually free. Just ask your neighbours, family and friends.

• You may even choose to hire a financial adviser, so long as you have the money for it.

• Always do your research and study about the different things you can do with your money.

• Also, if your parents happen to have a financial counsellor, then don’t be afraid to ask advice from that counsellor or from your parents themselves. You are like a sponge at this part in your life; you simply absorb a large amount of information within a short time. Make the most of this by asking as much as you can about money. Stocking up on knowledge is the best thing you can do to prepare for the future.

Simple Yet Effective Financial Tips for Women

It has been widely known that women are more careful when it comes to money. They tend to be very critical, and carry more cash than men and less likely to take risks in terms of investments. Unfortunately, this is also the reason why they tend to save significantly less funds for retirement.

Typically between men and women, there is this division of labor, and is discussed as part of the important topic which is family finances. It has been shown that men are more focused on growing wealth for the long term, while women focus more on day-to-day financial activities. So basically, they have contrasting priorities and outlooks. It is evident in the common household setting, as the wife takes care of the daily expense, while the husband covers the bigger financial commitments like housing, cars, among others.

Financial Tips for Women

However, it is important to somehow, have a common ground to make ends meet. Financial experts were able to create simple yet effective financial tips for women. This brings balance and sound financial status. The family’s financial status is one of the most important aspects for families, no matter what the family’s age is. It is important that there is a common goal, even if women and men  do not share a particularly similar outlook. That way, financial needs are addressed, and conflicts are minimized.

Here are some financial tips for women who would like to gain more control and knowledge in budget and expense.

Identify what you do and don’t know

The division of labor in a relationship should be clearly understood. It is enveloped with strengths and weaknesses, but you should not totally rely on either way. Compromise is important to make ends meet. You as a woman should be able to capture the big picture, and identify where you are financially. It is best to keep your financial records organized, and be receptive to learning the aspects of finance that you are not totally aware of.

Early engagement and communication

Finances should not be treated like medications, and just self-medicate in cases that you are not feeling well. It does not work that way in the world of finance. It is important to touch base with a financial expert or consultant. There are several professionals that are more than willing to help you in this aspect, to provide you better information and keep you updated on what aspects of your finances need professional help, or what can be improved further to make your finances work for you.

Identifying your Achilles’ Heel

It is totally alright to embrace your weaknesses in the aspect of finance. The only time that makes it wrong is when you don’t do anything about it to improve your finances. Numerous financial tips for women are available online, that may help you address your financial concerns. When you know your weakness, you can counter it with your strengths.

Preparing for Storm

When we say storms, those are the unexpected financial hurdles that may include divorce, widowhood, or even a massive crash in finances. Keep in mind that in managing finances, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. You should be able to save up enough to sustain you once unfortunate life events will just work as a roadblock, not as end of story. It is important that this aspect is carefully planned with the help of a financial advisor or counselor that can provide numerous financial tips for women.

Prioritize Retirement

Retirement is something that will eventually happen. This is something that is definite in any woman’s life. Saving up, even by small amounts, prepare you for retirement and keeps you financially stable while at the same time gain peace of mind that when it is the time to retire, you have money to sustain your needs. By forming a personal profile for retirement assists you in establishing a vision and careful planning for your retirement.


Despite all these financial tips for women that provide separate approaches in financies, annual financial surveys indicate that the goal is unanimous in terms of financial decisions. The common response is that men and women seriously plan financial aspects in their lives. It just varies on the starting point, but what’s good about it is that the target is the same. Women should be receptive enough to learn the ropes of financial stability. Being interested in preparing finances not only adds valuable knowledge, it is also something that can prepare you for the bigger picture, possibilities, and the latter part of life. The ultimate goal of financial stability is to enjoy life without the stress and woes of not having a carefully planned financial map. How sweet it is to wake up to a life that you long to live, and to make the best out of it. Planning early, learning more, and setting goals will bring you to greater heights.

Picking the Right Lender for Refinancing Your Home Mortgage

Refinancing a mortgage can benefit you in a number of ways.  It could lower your monthly payments, save you thousands in interest, and it could even make the life of the loan shorter; meaning you pay it off early.  If this is what you want to do you should take the time to find the right lender for your situation.  It is always easy to walk into your local bank and request a loan, but, this may not be the best idea for refinancing a mortgage.

refinancing a mortgage


How to Find the Best Lender

The first people think of for a home loan is banks and credit unions, but, there are other potential sources that should be considered.  There are savings institutions and consumer finance companies and it is well worth the effort to research any of them available to you.  This time can have a substantial effect on the amount of money you spend out of pocket to secure a loan and the amount of money you will spend over the period of the loan.

Remember when you are looking into refinancing a mortgage loan officers will be getting paid off the transactions that they secure.  An actual mortgage broker can assist you to compare the lenders and help you to secure the best possible loan.  They will receive a fee from you the buyer for their assistance.  The broker will also get a fee from the lender for bringing business to them.  Lenders are allowed to make their own decisions on the fees they will charge their clients so, shop around don’t sign with the first lender you talk to.  The may also have different charges for filing so be sure to ask all the questions and be clear about everything before you sign any paperwork.

Key Factors to Keep In Mind

First and foremost make certain that you understand all the terms of the loan you are getting when refinancing a mortgage.  You should know the monthly payment, how many years you will be paying on it, the interest rate, if there are fees and how much they are, and if there will be a penalty if you pay the loan off early.  As for the fees and costs involved with the loan the lender should supply you with a “good faith estimate” that includes all the fees and costs you will be expected to pay at closing.

There is no law that regulates what lenders charge for fees and cost, but, the good faith estimate gives the customer something to use to compare one lender to another.  Your prospective lender should also be able to answer your questions in a timely and reliable way.  When you are getting a loan for refinancing a mortgage you are going to be expected to supply a lot of personal information and therefor your lender should be readily available for your questions.  If you find that you are having a hard time contacting your lender or they often don’t have the answers to your questions; you may want to find a lender that spends more time worrying about the customer’s needs.

Another issue that often comes up when you are working with a lender is, paperwork not being ready and available at the time of closing.  If you have a good lender they should be able to keep everything on track and keep everything moving smoothly so you can have peace of mind through the process.  If all documentation and information isn’t ready at the time of closing you could lose the opportunity for refinancing a mortgage.  A good lender should make a solid contribution to you refinancing a mortgage.

It Is Easier Than it Used to Be

There was a time when learning about lenders and doing research on different companies as a very time consuming problem.  You had to drive from place to place and talk to someone at every company that you were considering for refinancing a mortgage.  If you weren’t driving around you were spending multiple hours on the telephone.  You can still do it the old fashion way if you want to, but, the advancement of technology has made it so much easier for you.  Now you have the information highway provided on the internet.

There are many ways to look online to see what the current interest rates are.  There are also ways to compare lenders on line that make it much more convenient for you. You will find that you can gain a lot of insight studying lenders online.  If you are like a lot of people you are going to want to have a face to face meeting before making a final decision; which is a good idea to help put your mind at ease.  Use all the tools at your disposal to make sure that you are making the most informed decision and getting the best deal you can.

Tips for Paying Off Debts Of Substantial Amounts

Credit cards are great until you find yourself in credit card debt that amounts to more than your yearly income.  A couple from Rochester, Minnesota found themselves in such a situation when the received a letter from one of their credit card companies informing them that their payments would be going up; they could not afford that.

Both of them had good jobs and lived well and had done so through their thirteen year marriage.  When the received the notice they were forced to take a serious look at their situation and realized that they had accumulated $109,000 in credit card debt, but, their yearly combined income was only $100,000.  The needed some information on paying off debts of substantial amounts.

Credit cards are not the only debilitating forms of debt that Americans find themselves in; it can also be contributed to;

  • Mortgages
  • Student Loans
  • Car Loans
  • Personal Loans

No matter how the debt happened the first thing you have to do is step up to the plate and own it; admit that you did it and face it.  Ignoring it will not make it go away and it can definitely get much worse if you don’t approach it head on.  The following tips for paying off debt will help you once you face the reality of the situation.

Cutting Expenses

Nobody likes it, but, once the damage is done you must do whatever is necessary to get you out of debt.  If you take an honest look at your life there are probably ways you can cut back like not going out to dinner so often, cutting out gym memberships, or shopping for clothes you don’t need.  If the situation is really bad you might want to consider moving into a smaller home or moving in with a family member for a while, taking your kid out of an expensive private school and have them attend public school, or sell your sporty car and get something more economical.

Make a Budget and Stick to It

This is a must in any situation where you are trying to pay off debt.  It doesn’t matter if you want to put in down on paper, enter it in a spreadsheet, or use the envelope method; just do it.  If you can also make yourself take the time to write down every dollar you spend for just three weeks; you will probably be very surprised to see exactly where your money is going.

Stop Using the Credit Cards

If you are trying to use the argument that you are getting cash back; think about it this way you are paying 10% in interest (if you are lucky) and you are getting 2% percent back, it’s a loss people.  If you just can’t do without swiping a card; go get a prepaid card while you are paying off debt.

Double Check Any Medical Bills

According to collections agencies about 52% of the bills they try to collect on are medical bills.  You need to sit down and go through any medical bills thoroughly.  Make sure the insurance company has paid their share and determine the exact amount that you owe.  Call the hospital and start negotiating.  You can ask for financial aid, discounts, or a low payment plan.

Get a Counselor

Before you sign on with a debt counseling company to help in paying off debts make certain that they are a non-profit that has been accredited by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.  You should also check with the Better Business Bureau to see that they have a good standing and have received some positive reviews from previous clients.  Most of these companies will offer a free initial visit and then let you decide if you would like to proceed further with them.

How this usually works is the counseling agency will negotiate with your creditors for lower payments.  They will receive one payment from you and they will pay directly to creditors while paying off debt.  They can also help with mortgage realignments and student loans.

Beware If You Are Offered a Settlement

It is a sad situation but you must be made aware that there are companies out there that will pretend to be on your side and then tack advantage of your circumstances.  These companies work for profit and will stoop to some bad tactics to make their money.  This is not to say that all of them are bad; there are some offers that are legitimate.  Most of them will tell you not to pay the bill in the hopes that you will let it go delinquent and then they can step in and make you an offer to settle.  This sometimes ends up in a lien or a lawsuit because; they have taken your money and then disappear with the debtor not collecting anything.

You now have some tips on how to get out of debt, but, you must commit to the one that is going to work for you or the combination of them.  If you truly want to get out of debt you can.

Great Apps to Use to Save Money on Dining Out

Dining out can make for a very enjoyable experience. You can do it with your family, with your friends, or even by yourself. However, a great experience can turn into one that was very expensive and leave you needing to work double time to make up for the funds that you should not have spent in the first place. No one should ever be forced to never dine out because of being on a budget. Instead, you should consider using ways that can help you to save money on dining out. Continue reading for great apps that you can use to save money on dining out.

Save Money on Dining Out

According to Research

According to a survey conducted by Visa, in 2013 there was an average spending amount of over $900 on Americans spending money on lunch outings. That is a lot of money to be spent on lunch, so it is definitely a huge increase for Americans who have dined out for dinner because dinner time is usually the time restaurants increase serving size as well as the price for those larger dishes. That dollar amount also only includes the main dish and does not include any dining extras like appetizers, drinks, and dessert. The majority of Americans use a mobile device and fortunately, those mobile devices can be the help you need to save money on dining out.

How to Save Money on Dining Out

Mobile devices come with the ability to download mobile applications to be used for your benefit. One of those benefits is to save money on dining out, but what apps should you use? There are many apps available that will claim to help you save money on dining out. Below is a list of the best ones to use to help you to save money on dining out.

Deal News

The first way to save money on dining out is to use the Deal News app. This apps will give you the best local restaurants that offer the best deals for you. Not only will you gain access to great restaurants, but you will also find deals for bars, cafes, and breweries.

Scout Mob

This app is run by big city dwellers that will help you to find any elite restaurant and offer you great deals to enjoy. Not only will you get great deals with this app, but you will also receive restaurant recommendations that are related to your recent searches or your previously used deals.


This app will give you access to a variety of interesting restaurants and great deals that will encourage you to try them out. This app provides you with coupons that will discount a single meal or discount the meals for an entire group. Groupon also gives special deals depending on the length of time that you use the app.


Not only does the Yelp app give you great deals on different restaurants that you can enjoy, it also provides you with unbiased reviews on new restaurants that you have never tried. Most of the deals given by this app will allow you to decrease the cost of your meal by a few dollars.

Living Social

This app is similar to Groupon in that you can access pretty much any restaurant to see if there is a special deal or discount to be used. This app also gives you access to restaurants from different areas which is great to use when you are traveling to a new area.

Bite Hunter 

As its name suggests, this app hunts from the best deals and discounts at restaurants and any other type of dining out establishment. You can even make your dinner purchase with this app and take advantage of any deals before you arrive at the restaurant.


Using this app will get rid of the need to print off coupons. You will have top access to deals and discounts for a number of restaurants. The app can be used on your personal computer or on your mobile device.

A Few More Notes 

Some of the apps listed above are free to download and use. Others may require a small fee in order to take advantage of great deals. Although the free apps may be more appealing, paying a small fee to save money on dining out is worth it. Keep in mind that some restaurants may not acknowledge deals, discounts, and coupons that are uploaded onto an app. It is a good idea to call ahead to ask if the deal will be accepted. It is also recommended to inform you waiter or waitress at the restaurant when you will be using a discount from one of the apps.

Dining out does not have to be expensive if you use one of the available apps that can help you to save money on dining out.

Do Better than Resolutions: Create Habits

Sure, making resolutions for a new year are fun and all, but there’s more substantial work one could be doing to make big changes in their life. A lot of the reason we make bad decisions in all aspects of life is because we’ve formed habits that don’t serve us best. There are all kinds of things that we can do to create habits that will work best for us in the long run. You’ll be surprised at the goals you can achieve if you formulate a thorough plan and make sure you follow through and document your progresses.


You always say it; you always sike yourself up to believe that you’ll tackle every goal on your list with no problems. How can you make anything happen if you don’t find ways to change your negative patterns of action. Making change is neither simple nor easy, but in most cases it will prove to be extremely beneficial. More than half of Americans don’t even bother making New Year’s resolutions, but the ones who do can hardly stay committed to their goals. The time right in the beginning of the year as things start to take shape–during the first two weeks–is the easiest time to stick to your commitments. After the initial shine of a new calendar year has worn off, people tend to fall off the bandwagon and forget the goals they set out to achieve. It takes at least two months for a person to begin to form new habits, so it makes sense that so many people can’t keep their new practices in check. If you really want to see what kind of results you can bring to fruition, don’t refer to them as resolutions: resign yourself to trying to create habits that can sustain your through life.

You’ll be surprised at your skill to create habits and you won’t believe the things you’re able to do.

“I Just Want To Save A Little More Money.”

The best way to create habits that serve your financial status is by thorough planning of all the dollars you bring in and send out. When you stay on top of your budget with a fine tooth comb, you won’t run into as many surprises as you might have in the past. Once you’ve got a very functional budget to work with, you can begin to formulate a plan to save more money. You don’t want to overdo the savings plan, but starting simply with reasonable goals will make it so that you don’t feel pressured or shamed if you absolutely can’t save more a little month.

Over time, if you’re serious about saving, you’ll be able to see that account continue to grow.


Are you hoping to move into a new home this year? Crunch the numbers and find out exactly how much that will cost and start guiding your savings plan in that direction. You want to break down every level of saving and spending there is to get the most accurate figures to work with. If you’re sure you’ll always have the money in your account, you can set up automatic deposits to your savings account that will make saving less of a hassle. Doing a lot of math to find out workable figures can be difficult and somewhat frightening, so being able to have an automatic way to save is a bit of a relief. Increasing your spending by even a hair will add up in the long run.

When you create habits that force you to save, you will be very happy when you go to your savings account for an emergency expense.

“If Only I Could Save a Bit of My Raise…”

When you have to start living on a tighter budget, it can be very difficult to actually go through with it. Saving feels bad in the moment because you have to eat out less, you can’t shop as much and you can’t have the extra little things you like as much as you used to. That’s why getting a raise or bonus is always a wonderful time to save some that you weren’t going to spend anyway. If you didn’t have a bonus or a raise, you wouldn’t have the extra to do extra with. If you get a bonus every year at a certain time, it’s probably in your best interest to save it all. You’ll feel better about saving it if you’ve got a long-term or even a short-term goal coming up: it could help you get it done! If you must, you can take a small portion from your bonus to play around with!

When you create habits that feel like a stress-free necessity, you don’t feel like you’re losing as much and it becomes easier to be appreciative of your progress. Create habits that are both realistic and purposeful to get to your goals even faster.

The Tricks of Student Loan Servicers

Who would have known that the road to student loan is has been made even more difficult because of the secrets and trickery done by the student loan servicers? Yes, it is true—there are things that these student loan servicers are not telling you, and below is a list of those things you may not have known regarding your student loans.


What Your Student Loan Servicers Don’t Tell You

Here are a few things that your student loan servicers do not tell you unless you ask them.

·         When Your Late Fees Are Added To Your Loans.

Whenever you have a student loan and you are given specific payment requirements, you are expected to meet those payment deadlines or risk having to pay a late fee. However, there are times when your student loan servicer fails to inform you of when the late fees are added. This could be an even bigger problem when late fees start to build on multiple loan accounts. Some companies take a payment on one loan and access it evenly among all of your loans. This is an illegal action, and if your servicer is responsible for doing this without your knowledge, you should report the company.

·         Whether Or Not Your Minimum Payments Are Correct.

Most student loans require you to make a minimum payment each month. However, when you have your loans deferred, your minimum payments could be the wrong amount. If there is a misunderstanding of what your minimum payments should be, it could result in your underpaying causing a late fee to be added to the loan. To prevent this, make sure to understand every aspect of your loan to know what you are required to pay. If you suspect foul play with your student loan servicing company, you should contact them immediately for answers.

·         What Happened To Your Grace Period?

In most cases, lending companies give you a grace period where you are not charged any late fees if you make a payment after the due date. Some grace periods last for 30 days up to 45 or 60 days. If you are not aware of any grace periods with your loan, ask to see if a grace period was included with your loan. If you do have a grace period and discover that late charges were still placed on the loan, contact your student loan servicer to get the charge removed.

·         Tax Information Needed For A Tax Deduction.

When you are paying back student loans, you are eligible to receive tax deductions on the interest you are paying back also. Some student loan servicers do not inform you of this or provide you with the documentation to be able to do that. It is important to understand that you are entitled to this information and should be given it automatically. With this tax deduction, students can receive up to $2,500 in funds.

·         How Bankruptcy Affects Your Student Loans.

If you have student loans and need to file for bankruptcy, you should understand that no student loan is erased when you file bankruptcy unless you show proof of an extreme hardship that prevents you from being able to repay your loans. Some student loan servicers may tell you that student loans cannot be erased in bankruptcy. In some cases, you can get is taken away.

·         Being Protected From Creditors.

Student loan servicers typically assume the role of creditors when student loans become past due. However, just like all other creditors, there are legal limits that must be set when informing borrowers of what they owe. Creditors are not supposed to contact borrowers during a certain time of the day and for a set number of times each month. It is important that you know your rights to not be harassed by any creditors and exercise those rights if you ever need to do so.

What You Can Do

Your student loans are definitely something that should be taken seriously. After all, this may be the first loans that are in your name, so you must take of them in order to keep your credit in good standings. Depending on the types of loans that you have, there are different times you will be required to start paying back the loans. You want to make sure you are ready to take on the challenge of repaying your student loan debts. For further information on any student loans that you may have, consult the Federal Student Aid website, and you should be able to find the answers to any questions you may have.

Student loans can be a hassle to handle, and your student loan servicers may be there to help you handle them, or can hurt you by not telling you certain things that you should know. When you are ready to repay your loans, look at this list to remind of what your servicers will not tell you.

For People Tired of Overspending on School Supplies

With the end of summer fast approaching, everyone is getting ready for school. That means a trip to the store to begin stocking up on school supplies. Before you start spending your money, make sure you know what is needed for school supplies, and how much you are going to be spending. Huffington Post shared a stat about the average cost that is spent on school supplies for students in grades k-12, in the 2014 school year, and that number reached $634.78 per child, and for college students it is higher. Here are some simple things that could help you save money this school year.

Overspending on School Supplies

Make A Budget

With the tons of crayons and rows of paper it is easy to feel dumbfounded. To help combat the unnecessary costs go to the store with a plan of what you need to purchase, and with how much you want to spend. By putting a plan and budget in place before heading out, you will have an easier time sticking to your budget.

Most schools and classes give a supply list out before the school year begins. Read over the list with a pen in hand and check off which items are the most important and which ones are secondary. Once you have that, set out a limit that you want to spend on each item or category. A big cost is school clothes, so set out a budget right from the start so you don’t spend more than you want on new clothing.

Ask Yourself The Following Questions:

  • What do I feel is a reasonable and comfortable amount to spend on the item?
  • Can I purchase this at a different store at a lower cost?
  • Is this an essential item?

Explore the Different Options Available To You

Shopping at different stores can save money. It may not be as easy as doing all of your shopping in one place, but the money you save makes it worth it. Even small savings can add up to big money. When shopping at a one stop gets all type of store, it is important to understand that you are paying the price for convenience. That means it is your responsibility to consider the difference between cost and time if you decide to visit different stores. A good way to accomplish making the choice follow some these ideas.

Use the Dollar Stores

One item that is always needed is notebooks, and even the cheapest ones are expensive. The dollar stores save you money by carrying off brand or off color school supplies at a fraction of the cost. Additionally, dollar stores are great for stockpiling essentials such as pens and pencils

Reach Out To Your Network

Get together with other families and see what can be passed down to other kids, or shared between your kids. Uniforms can be passed on to other kids when your kids have moved on. Another added bonus of discussing school supplies with other families is you could discover new ways to save or places to shop from the others.

Use Online Marketplaces Such As Craigslist.

Craigslist is a used goods haven for shoppers, and you can even find school supplies! Since kids grow so quickly, things like clothing and backpacks need to be replaced and buying this items used can save you a lot of money. Some other sites for online shopping include ebay or recycler.

Repurpose or Reuse Materials

Getting rid of excess stuff is important but be careful when it comes to ditching school supplies. Be on the watch for supplies that can be reused the next school year. To help you stay organized keep a box for storing new and used school supplies in so that you can always take a quick inventory of what you have.

Buy Second Hand Books or E-Versions

One of the most expensive things that college students have to buy is textbooks. In a single semester students face a cost of $200 or more for each textbook they need to purchase. Students should consider whether or not their schedule and field of study would allow for using an older version of the text since these are cheaper than new texts. Some great online sites for buying used textbooks are Chegg and AbeBooks. Additionally when you are finished with your textbooks you can turn them into money by selling them on these same sites.

Finally Prioritizing Quality

There are items that will be well used up by the end of the school year. This is where prioritizing the quality of an item comes in. For example by spending more on something like a backpack that will last 4 years is a better choice than buying a cheaper backpack that is low in quality and will need to be replaced year after year.