Monthly Archives: May 2010

Three Things YOU Need to DO, to get out of DEBT!


There is no other depressing and bothersome circumstance anyone of integrity and self-esteem would want to get out of quickly, than debt. If you have found yourself in debt, and you are wondering if you are ever going to be able to get out of it, I have good news for you, here are three things you can do to get out of your debt situation and put your finances in the positive.

1. Get Financial Education

Yes, you must understand financial matters immediately. Getting into debt in the first place is a reflection of an in-balance in your finances. In a very simple way, you get into debt because your expenses or purchases are more than your income. Therefore, to get out of debt, what you need to do is also simply to ensure that your expenses are less than your income.

However, for most people who are in debt, the major problem preventing them from getting out of it is their inability to curtail their spending behavior. They have become so used to lavish lifestyle that they don’t think they will survive it, if they can no longer get those things they are used to.

But with the knowledge of personal finance, which you can get from reading good websites, books, workshop, conference, and seminars, you will come to see the need to be in control of your finances. You will come to understand the importance of making budgets, and know how to spend less and save more. You will be able to make that needed shift in your life to get you out of the debt. There is no question about it, without knowing how your finances are affected by your lifestyle, and so make the needed changes that will guarantee you are getting out of debt, there is no way you will ever be out of it, instead the debt will keep mounting.

Financial education will also expose you to ways by which you can invest your money and multiple it, which will not only ensure you are out of your debt, but also help you to build wealth.

2. Get Advice From Friends

You can discuss your debt position with trusted friends and relations who have had similar experience in the past. They will be able to tell you what they did that got them out of their debts.

3. Seek Professional Service

Professional debt negotiation and settlement services will be able to access your debt and financial position, recommend the best settlement option you should take, and schedule a workable repayment plan for you. Depending on the level of their expertise and experience in the industry, they should be able to help you pay back much less than you should have paid, thereby saving you lots of money.

It is possible for you to get out of debt, and even build wealth; all it takes is to look for the way out, and the determination to do what you have to do to live debt free.

Homeowners Hoping to Retire, Avoid this Hoax!


Homeowners looking to retire should not listen to the investment pundits.

Many news outlets provide tons of financial information. People receive financial information via the internet, TV, and radio. It seems that all manner of economic terminology dominates the news. You also hear of investment strategies involving stocks, bonds, fixed income securities, indexes, and even commodities. A TV commercial invites viewers to “experience the excitement of Forex trading”. If you don’t know what that means, it’s about speculating in foreign currencies.

That doesn’t sound like investing. But, it has become common in the language of investment advice.

To grow your money, is it possible to “trade” to build wealth? Can you really “trade” to accumulate enough for retirement? You’re invited to try trading platforms and strategies, and if you’re given to speculation, it seems exciting. However, this article is written for regular working people to have a comfortable nest egg for the future, and be able to retire. The temptation of gambling-type excitement, compared to the mundane aspect of saving for retirement, puffed up by smooth media promotions (some featuring attractive presenters), conjures up a subconscious implication that attaining wealth is exciting, effortless, and feasible using your home computer.

Does this sound logical? One way to see if it works is to open a brokerage account and start trading. If you have an account, you can simply begin. In fact, let me suggest a security that makes trading easy – S&P Index Futures. Why is this easy? This security requires no extensive research to trade. S&P Futures are highly liquid, fast-moving, and mirror the entire market. They move either up or down. You don’t have to research which stock to select, and you can make money if it goes up or down. Ok, begin trading. Come back when your money runs out!

Oh, you’re back? You’ve probably discovered what so many others have found out: that practically nobody can trade their way to retirement. Perhaps you know someone who’s tried this approach. Read about it on the internet. Whatever you do, don’t believe the talk of easy gains that are touted by those looking to make your money their money. These claims are from those who stand to gain from your gullibility. These people facilitate the trading “habit” by providing either a trading platform or “education” to “help you make better trades”. Do you notice anything? These people don’t do any trading themselves, they encourage trading to others. You see, in the real world where money is made and lost, the professionals don’t take on risk, and trading is like gambling.

It’s important to note that people whose businesses promote securities trading don’t really trade. Their money is earned from those who do. Typically, a person who trades makes many trades every day, and initiates many buy and sell orders. Professionals know this, and use this knowledge by providing trading websites, promoting the use of the platforms by hyping the “excitement” or “easy money” of trading to an unwary public, and then charging a small fee for each trading order that a trader executes via the platform.

Therefore, the true professionals avoid risk altogether. They avoid trading, unless they have inside information that guarantees they’ll make a profit. Unlike their message to the unwary, they realize it’s all but impossible to retire through trading, and that most people will be prevented from retiring, because they will lose money. Smart money doesn’t take on risk, but instead makes money from the risk-taking of others. Their business is a sure thing, with no adverse risk-taking that inevitably leads to losing money. Whether traders make money or lose money, the smart money makes money, and always avoids risk.

Amazingly, you can make a great deal of money while avoiding risk. As a homeowner, your biggest risk is your mortgage. Learn how it can make you rich . You’ll have a secure future with plenty of money and a rewarding retirement.

Value Based Financial Planning, What is it?


So just what are values based financial planning and is it anything that you may be interested in. In short, values based financial planning is quite simply a method of financial planning that integrates your personal values into decisions that are made. Sounds simple right? Well it’s not.

For instance, you may have already been doing some type of Values Based Financial Planning on your own by simply avoiding investment opportunities that didn’t smell right to you. Companies or business entities that generate their profits in ways that you simply don’t agree with. Even so, in today’s complex global business arena, how can you be sure that your investment money isn’t in some way connecting up to something that you would rather that it didn’t?

A Full Time Job to Be Sure

The fact is that on your own, the task is so complex and difficult that it may as well be impossible. Even then, it would be a full-time job for many people to do the real-time research, that’s needed to insure that corporate decisions that are made post investment, don’t run counter to their personal values.

Learn To Flex Your Muscle

So now you can begin to see how difficult it can be, but it in fact it involves so much more than that. For instance, a values based financial planner can help you to better wield your influence as a share holder in any business entities that you hold interest in. This means that not only can you learn how to prevent things from being done, but you can also learn to flex your muscle and be more of a direct part of the decision-making process.

What about Charitable Giving and Write Offs?

OK sounds good enough. But is there more yet to values based financial planning? Of course there is! What about charitable tax write-offs. How can you be sure that you’re getting the maximum tax credit, and at the same time know that you are giving to your most preferred charity? Also with so much flim-flam charities out there, how can you be sure that the charities that you support are in fact doing what you would like to think that they are doing?

Values Based Estate Planning

It in fact goes even further than that, because a values based investment planner can assist you in estate planning as well. Wouldn’t you like to know that the fruits of your labors are leaving a positive mark long into the future? Once again this is another area where a values based financial planner can be of assistance.

New Investment Opportunities

The fact is that you don’t have to sacrifice financial growth for values, if you have the right people to turn to when it comes time to invest. For instance, as new renewable environmentally sound sources of energy are being developed and made available; they are creating huge investment opportunities for those who understand them.

Knowledge Is Key

So the fact is that with the right information available to a person today, they can not only see their personal wealth increase, but they can also accomplish this without having to make any sacrifices as far as their personal values and belief systems are concerned. However, do take note that education is key.

Savings Account, A Safer Option


In olden times, extra earnings used to be safely stacked at home and whenever any need arose, it was put to use. Investments were made in the form of land, gold or the likes. The concept of banking came into existence after moneylenders started charging an exorbitant amount of interest on the money lent to farmers. Authorised bodies came into existence that stored people’s money safely and made them available to them whenever they wanted it.

The simplest bank account is the Savings Account that pays a steady rate of interest and helps you keep a tab on the money earned and saved. It is very important to maintain one, if you want to align your funds as per your requirements. It gives you a sense of security among the other benefits. The other greatest benefit you can avail of is that your money doesn’t stay idle. You earn interest on it, and it keeps growing as your balance increases.

There are a few things like the interest rate offered, minimum balance requirement, etc. you need to take into consideration before deciding on a particular type of Savings Account. In the current financial scenario, there are a number of accounts available as per your requirements. You can enjoy the various features available with each one of them.

As against Current Account, which is suitable for businessmen, Savings Account caters to the needs of a variety of people ranging from kids, senior citizens, corporate salary account holders to housewives and more.

There are a few types of Savings Account available which include,

Zero Balance Account

You don’t need to maintain a minimum balance in your account. It is generally used by salary account holders. It reaps a relatively lower rate of interest but it gives you the flexibility of using up your money as and when you require.

Senior Citizen’s Account

It provides them with privileges that are as hassle-free as possible.

Kid’s Account

You even have an account for kids that build up on their capital, and help you get ready for their future requirements.

Premium Account

In this one, you have to maintain a slightly higher balance in the account, but you get better advantages and services.

Opening a Savings Account is simple too. Just take a few things into consideration before deciding on a particular bank. Look for its accessibility from your place of residence or work, the number of services it offers, the quality of customer service and the interest rates attached to it. You can either walk into the bank of your choice or make use of the online option guiding you with the procedure of opening a Savings Account. All you have to do is submit the documents required (residence proof, identity proof, PAN Card number, photographs and the likes) and you are on your road to organised savings.

Make saving a way of life, and put all your worries of securing your future to rest.

Biggest Money Mistakes- Personal Financial Basics


People make mistakes all of the time when dealing with personal finances basics. Some of the most wealthy people on the planet make mistakes, people in the middle class make mistakes and the poor make money mistakes. It is an almost unavoidable issue. The more poor you are, the more damaging those mistakes are. What are the biggest money mistakes people make? Let’s find out.

1. Neglecting Your Credit Scores

Credit scores or ratings are more important today than they have ever been, especially today with all kinds of people defaulting on loans and mortgages. Banks that lend money are incredibly cautious about to whom they will lend money. Lenders often look for low-risk customers. If your credit rating is at 750 or above, lenders will fall all over themselves to get your business. A good credit rating also means you will get great rates on home mortgages, vehicle loans, personal loans and credit cards. Insurance company’s and possible landlords also use credit ratings to decide on quality customers or tenants, for this reason it is crucial to keep your credit in good shape.
Do you know your credit? There are all kinds of resources that can give you an idea of where you stand. They will help with your personal finances basics.

2. Carrying Credit Card Debt

If you carry a balance on your credit card not only are you paying ridiculous interest rates, but you may also be affecting your opportunity to get a mortgage or some other kind of loan, plus you are damaging your credit score. If you want to fix your personal finances you need to eliminate any or all credit card debt. If you need help in eliminating your credit card debt, get it. Leverage is important for, you if you want to get a loan and you need to have good credit. The sooner you eliminate your credit cards the better you will be.

3. Too Much Home or Auto Debt

In an ideal world you should never exceed 30% of your gross income when it comes to your mortgage. On that same line of thinking, your transportation expenses should not be greater than ten percent of your income (that includes insurance, gas and repairs). If you are paying more in one or both of those categories, you are likely paying too much when it comes to home or auto debt.
What should you do? It may be time to rethink your living arrangements. If you can’t afford a house with a thirty year fixed rate mortgage, you simply cannot afford the house. If you can’t afford a sixty month loan for a vehicle, you should not be driving that car. Those are easy personal finance basics you must know.

4. You Tapped Into Your Emergency Fund or You Don’t Have an Emergency Fund.

The importance of having cash in hand has become more and more valuable with each passing day. You should have an emergency fund. It can assist with paying for unexpected costs, such as car maintenance, and it will even cover your bills if you suddenly become unemployed. Most people try to create an amount that is equal to three months living expenses. For families that fund should cover 6 months. Clearly the more you can afford, the better. If you haven’t yet created an emergency fund, you should start making one. Start by setting a goal of creating an amount of $1,000 and then go from there.

You don’t have to make mistakes, but everyone does. The less often you make those mistakes the better off you will be. If you stop making these 4 crucial errors, you will start to enjoy the financial freedom you deserve. Trying to live within your means, staying up with your debts and your credit are the personal finance basics we should all take care of. Start by setting goals, and tackle one of these things each month, you will be rewarded financially in very little time at all.

How YOU can Eliminate Excessive Credit Card Debt once and for all


Excessive credit card debt is like an anchor that weighs you down. Your thoughts are consumed by it, and it doesn’t seem like you can do too much about it. In fact, it almost seems as though the more you pay on a huge debt, the larger it becomes. There is a way to short-circuit the endless debt cycle, and you can be out of debt quicker than you think. It will take work on your part, but that is miniscule compared to a mountain of debt.

The strategy to eliminate excessive credit card debt is known by many different names, debt roll up, debt snowball, etc. Regardless of the name, the idea is the same. Get a psychological lift from paying off smaller debts, and roll the now available funds from that payoff to attack larger and larger debts, finally ending up with your mortgage. Most people who can stick faithfully to this plan find themselves debt free, including their mortgage, in ten years.

Here’s a rough idea of how it works. Gather your credit card statements and determine which card has the lowest balance due. With the next payment, probably the minimum payment, add as much extra as you can afford each month until this card is paid off. If you have been adding extra here and there to different cards, stop. Pay just the minimums on all the cards but the lowest balance one. You want to pay this one-off quickly to give yourself momentum to carry this to the end. Very important!

Once the lowest balance card is paid in full, take its minimum plus the extra you could afford each month and add them to the next lowest cards minimum. Make that payment monthly until the balance is paid off.

Next, you guessed it, add the total on to the next card. Keep on in this manner until all cards are paid off. Then take the total you were paying on the last card and apply it to your mortgage. If you do the math, you will most likely find you can be debt free in ten years.

Using a debt roll up strategy is a great way to beat the credit card companies at their own game by compounding payments. It’s a great way to eliminate excessive credit card debt.

Are YOU living in a False Sense of Financial Security?


You are currently living the ‘American Dream’. Right now you are happily married, you have kids, a dog, the house with a white picket fence, you own an SUV and a mini van, and you are in debt. Your story is the same as millions of other Americans in this country. Well, your story isn’t exactly as I just described, but close. In fact, the debt part is probably the only absolute truth. You are staying on top of all of your minimum monthly bills, and are making ends meet – or so you think. You’ve been drawn into a false sense of financial security and think you know how to manage money. The reality is you could be in too much debt. Here is a list of 10 warning signs indicating that you might be in too deep.

1. You have little to no savings.
2. You are only able to make the minimum payment on your credit cards and other bills.
3. You’ve been denied credit.
4. You use cash advances from your credit cards to pay other bills such as heat and hydro.
5. You are sometimes late with your bill payments.
6. You keep buying things with your credit card adding to the balance.
7. You don’t even know how much debt you have.
8. Some of your bank accounts are overdrawn and once in a while you bounce checks.
9. You have one or more credit cards that are close to the limit or are maxed out.
10. You have lied to family and friends about your debt and over spending.

Does one or all of these statements sound familiar? Even if just one of those is true, you might be in a little financial trouble and may need to learn how to manage money all over again. The good part is you are able to fix it. The bad part is you must start taking control of your finances right now. The more you wait, the worse the problem will get. Finances are something that can’t be swept under the rug and forgotten about.

STEP 1: Now is the time to make a check list and go through it. Sift through those 10 items and find out the parts that correspond with your life.

STEP 2: Discover a way to fix those problems. You have no savings? Start building an emergency fund. Deposit $25 a week or any amount that you can to increase that balance to $1000. You keep adding to your credit card balance? Start buying things with cash and start paying off your credit card. The list goes on and on, but you have to fix those problems.

STEP 3: Set goals and start making them happen. Tomorrow isn’t the best time to start making goals. Start today – better yet, start right now. Don’t set your goals too high, create financial goals that can work such as cutting your electricity bill by five or ten percent or save some cash by quitting smoking. Small steps are key to goal setting and learning how to manage money.

Being lured into a false sense of financial security isn’t hard to do, when you do not know the warning signs of serious financial problems. If you have gone through this list and have found any matches, it may be time to start fixing those problems before that security becomes a major issue. Understanding how to manage money is easy, and everyone is able to make it happen.

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