Debt-Free Isnt for Dummies, But It Could Be for You: 4 Ways to Trim Your Monthly Bills

NPR reports that since the beginning of 2011, the average American wages and the cost of living have been moving in opposite directions. Wages aren’t keeping up with inflation, and that’s not taking things like health insurance costs into consideration. In fact, since 2010 the average hiring wage for workers has continuously gone down, and many professionals have been forced into lower-paying jobs. Add in the mortgage crisis and healthcare costs, and many of us have found ourselves in dire need of downsizing our lives.

Downsizing is tough. While it seems easy for many to adjust from rags to riches, riches to rags is a humbling experience. Keep your head held high and take the time to learn and apply the practical adjustments below. Adaptability is how the strong survive.

Trade in that Lease and Go Used

Trading in your leased vehicle for a used car is one of the wisest ways to ditch a major gratuitous expense. Status and comfort are nice, but so is financial (Read More….)

Should You Tap Your Home Equity?

If you have been thinking about applying for a home equity loan or line of credit and are not sure whether you should do so or not, then you should definitely take the time to think about the risks of tapping into the equity in your home before making a decision.

Home Equity Loans Can Help You Cover Unexpected Expenses

If you have been hit suddenly with unexpected expenses or an emergency, then you may be thinking about applying for a home equity loan to cover unexpected expenses. Many homeowners in similar situations tap into the equity of their home when they need extra money to pay for expenses. While applying for a home equity loan in this type of situation is not ideal, experts indicate that it is better to tap into equity to cover expenses and unforeseen emergencies than to tap into the equity of a home to pay for vacations and frivolous items.

Home Equity Loans Can be Used to Increase The Value of a Home

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Be Wary of Free Banking Offers: They are a Myth

As a consumer, you are always looking for a good deal.  With more and more banks offering free bank accounts, it might be very tempting to take advantage of these offers to avoid paying the monthly service you are currently paying each month for the account you currently hold.  Just because a banking institution claims that they are offering free banking does not mean that these claims are necessarily true.  Financial institutions who offer free checking accounts must make money somewhere because they are for-profit organizations.  This means that consumers need to educate themselves on possible hidden charges they may be assessed before they are enticed to open an account.  Read on and find out how free banking offers are really a myth and how they may end up costing you as much as $1,150 a year.

Money Collected From Accounts in Good Standing

You have to consider just how much money the institution is going to charge you for services that should be included in your account for free.  Research shows that a number of the financial institutions who are offering free banking are charging their (Read More….)

Best Ways to Save Money for Students

When it comes to college life, students need to learn how to save money. While in school and even after graduation, you will be on a tight budget due to major expenses for school, work and personal life. There are many things you can do as a student or post graduate to save money for the better things in life.

Don’t Splurge

Sure, everyone wants to splurge every once in a while and buy those designer jeans and that new video game and it is fine to do it every once in a while but not all the time. Save your money and stop buying on impulse just because you have the money to do so. Saving your money for more important things for school, work and personal life will be  a lot better in the long run.

Hide Credit Cards

You can either hide your credit cards or even better, cut them up and stop using them altogether. If you think you really need to keep one, just keep one and only use it for emergencies and this means real emergencies. Make sure to pay a little more than the minimum every month to get your credit card or cards paid off sooner also. Paying them off sooner will get you out of debt faster and you will be on your way to (Read More….)

Recovering From Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is one of the most financially difficult experiences a person may have during their lifetime. The financial burden that comes from filing bankruptcy—and the unique challenges that come with recovery from bankruptcy—can be trying. Bankruptcy can create a long, steep hill that one may be climbing up for the rest of their life. But, thankfully, there are some key steps and actions a person can take to recover quicker from bankruptcy and recover in a more effective manner.

Bank of America says a good first step is to make sure all credit reports are up to date and current with the post-bankruptcy financial information. It takes about two or three months for the financial information contained in the credit reports to be updated, so that is an important factor to keep in mind: it will not be an instant update. It is also imperative to make sure that all the information regarding your bankruptcy was reported to the proper financial institutions in a timely manner.

What Now?

After the information is updated, it is time to set up a reasonable budget. It is important to analyze (Read More….)

Getting Out Of Debt Requires Big Changes In Perspective

We live in an over-indebted society. Debt-financed consumption has become so ingrained into our culture, that it’s unusual to be debt free. Unfortunately, this means that the financial state of most people is mediocre at best.

There are countless books that provide steps, tips and how-to plans on how to get out of debt, but the reality is that the most impactful factor in getting out of debt is probably changing your perspective in a few areas.

The change in perspective that is required to get out of debt is massive. You must view your lifestyle differently, your views on what you may or may not think you are entitled to, and how you view money. This is very difficult for many people and is the main reason most people stay in debt.

How do you need to view your lifestyle differently? There are a few ways.

First, you need to become more intentional. Too many people spend money mindlessly rather than thinking about every time they open up their wallet.

Building a budget can help in this area. Decide where you’re going to spend your money before you have the opportunity to spend it. Next, what are the most (Read More….)