Monday, March 29, 2010

Tips To Avoid Credit Card Debt

Regardless of your reason, getting a credit card opens your world up to a large number of temptations - many of which should be avoided to stop you falling in a black hole of credit card debt.

What steps can you take to ensure you avoid credit card debt, and what should you be aware of when signing up for a credit card?

First and foremost it's important to make sure the the card you apply for is within a limit that, if you max the card out, you'll be able to afford repayments on it. Having a credit card with an enormous limit may look appealing, but it's no fun when that limit has been reached and you have to repay it.

Regardless of the initial limit of your card, once it's reached banks will often offer you a credit card increase. This can be tempting, particularly if there's something you want to buy but haven't been able to afford. If you decide to increase the limit, again make sure that you'll be able to afford the maximum repayments. This is one of the biggest traps people fall into with credit cards, and can cause years of hardship as you repay hefty debts.

A closely watched credit card limit is just the first of many ways to keep your credit card under control. The hardest aspect of having a credit card is the belief that you have money which you actually don't have. It can be very tempting to pull out the credit card for those purchases which you would otherwise save for or put on lay by.

This belief that credit is cash is one of the many factors which has attributed to the current global financial crisis, and the big learning that should be taken away is not to spend money you don't have. Most purchases can be lay-byed, and if something can't be put on lay by then it's important to ask that question - do you really need it?

Reading through this list of precautions it's pretty obvious that the most important factor to keep in mind with your credit card is not to spend money you don't have. This seems like a pretty obvious rule to live by but temptations, particularly temptations that come in the form of shiny new objects, can be hard to resist when you have a brand new credit card in your hand.

So each time you go to make that purchase, pause for a minute and ask yourself first of all "do I have the money?" and secondly "do I actually need the item". If the answer to even one of these questions is no, then you should be putting the credit card away for now.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is to make sure you compare credit cards properly before you actually apply for one. Many different cards have different interest free periods, and interest rates. Low interest rates can go a long way towards paying off credit cards should you accidentally rack up a high credit card bill.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ways of Managing Credit Card Debt

Credit cards have earned themselves a bad reputation. Or rather - people maging their cards badly have earned credit cards a bad reputation. It is all too common to hear of someone stuck in the hellish cycle of credit card debt, struggling to pay off the balance because of exorbitant interest charges.

Properly managed credit cards can bring benefit to the cardholder in terms of financial stability, membership rewards and the ability to build up a good credit rating for larger limits.

You may have run into credit card debt if you only make the minimum payments on your cards, are struggling to save money, have debt on two or more cards and have received calls concerning your lack of credit card payments or overspending.

Debt is manageable. Being honest with yourself about your debt and finances, will enable you to deal with the problem through sound credit card advice and begin the process of repayment without having to bankrupt yourself. Getting out of debt is not a quick fix however - it involves changing your attitude towards credit and spending for the better.

Rationalise the number of cards in your wallet
The best way to avoid credit card debt is to keep the number of cards in your possession to a minimum. Getting out of debt involves using your cards differently. Dispose of all except one: the card with the lowest debit interest rate (and that suits your life stage best). This will stop you from spending more money on the cards with a higher debit interest rate and is the very beginning to pulling yourself out of the debt cycle.

Make use of a balance transfer
A balance transfer can be used to pay off credit card debt and is perfectly legal. Transferring all outstanding debt onto a card with the lowest interest rate means that you will be paying off existing debt at the lowest rate possible. Most low interest credit cards offer rewards schemes even though the interest they earn will be less.

Organise and Prioritise your debt
Prioritising your debt eases credit card debt using a snowball effect. It works through listing the outstanding balances on each card and dividing that amount by the minimum payment for that card. Rank the resulting numbers from lowest to highest, the lowest of which is the first account you need to pay off.

Pay as much as you can towards the card with the lowest number calculated and make the minimum payments on all other cards. Once the first card is paid off, move onto the card which is next in rank. You can keep the account open of every card which has been paid off in full to build a good credit rating, but do not begin to spend more money on the card now that you have paid off the balance.

Another method of paying off credit card debt is to prioritise your debt. Paying off the cards with the highest interest rate before the low interest rate cards will save you a lot of money in over a long period of time, but is far more difficult to do than paying off the low interest cards first, and will only work for the very disciplined. If you know you are regularly guilty of missing payments or other credit misdemeanours, pay off cards with a lower interest rate first instead of prioritising higher card payments. If you prioritise high interest cards and do not complete payments you will find yourself in more debt than you began with.

Talk to your Credit Card Company
If you are struggling to pay off your credit cards, speak to your credit card issuer. It is in their best interest to help you. It will increase the chance that their money is repaid. Negotiate interest rates and minimum payments with your provider. Making a feasible payment plan with your credit card company shows good faith and a commitment to paying their money back.

Credit card debt is extremely common and whilst it is serious, it is best to remain calm and approach repayments logically. Common sense, vigilance, awareness and asking for help are key aspects of saving yourself from drowning in credit card debt.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Using savings account wisely

Many people have a problem using a Savings Account and therefore don’t find themselves using it at all. It is possible to use it and not even know that you have. Here are a few tips to help you not only setup a Savings Account and make it work for you.

First, go talk with your bank. Sit down with an Account Specialist and find out what options that they have available to you. Many banks today have the ability to take your direct deposit and automatically move some of that money into a Savings Account for you. They may require that you get in touch with your employer and fill out a new Direct Deposit Form but if it helps you to save some money it is all worth it. Then each time you get a direct deposit some money will get deposited into your Savings Account.

Additionally, your bank may also have the ability to take an amount of money each month and deposit that directly into your Savings Account. By setting up this auto-deduction you won’t have to think about making the deposit and you will find that your Savings Account will get its money each and every month.

Having a Savings Account is really important for you and your family. It is the start of building an Emergency Fund. Having an Emergency Fund is important in building a good financial picture and having good credit. Staying out of your Savings Account for anything other than a true emergency is often difficult to do but it is really important that you learn to leave it alone. Money in your Savings Account can help you in many ways if you learn to control your urge to use it.

So setup a Savings Account and make a deposit to it each month. This will not only help you financially it will help you learn to manage your money. This money management will help you build up your credit score. Having a Good Credit Score is very important in today’s economy.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Start with a budget to make your money dream come true

1. Set a goal – at the top of your list of money goals should be an emergency fund. Next, list your long term big ticket dreams, such as paying of debt, buying a car, financially your kid’s education. Write down more immediate personal and household needs and wants that you hope to purchase with the next six months. Finally, note small money goals, such eating in a restaurant once a week or getting a manicure once a month. Next to each goal, estimate the amount you need.
2. Aim to Save – suggest paying your self first. This means putting 10% of your monthly gross income into a general saving account or retirement saving account.
3. Track spending – starting today, starch a small notebook and pencil in your purse and note every single daily expenses. Count a small stuff; news paper, coffee, candy bars, child lunch money. Include the exact number to the centavo. Follow through for at least one week, preferably a month. This will you and eye opening look at your spending habits both good and bad.
4. Tally expenses – set up the following categories; housing, transportation, insurance, food, personal care, medical, children and miscellaneous. Create sub-categories for each, such as cosmetics and clothing under personal care, and so on. Add the expenses in each category. If you only tracked your spending for a week, multiply by four for monthly total.
5. Identify waste – as you survey your spending pattern, predict that more than an expenses will make you ask. “Did I really need this?” Assess the ways you’re throwing away cash on little things and make that the first place you look for money to kick start your “spending less, save more”.
6. Take back money – expenses against goals on your wish list. Start by cutting in half things you can’t use that much. Think of budgeting not as a sacrifice, but as a make life better mission!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Precious Investment

Sometimes, the biggest investment aren't necessarily longer than life they can be so small they fit the palm of your hand "Jewelry is a popular way of safeguarding ones financial assets because it's low risk and assures a quick turnover should you need money. Investors choose to put their money in precious metal like platinum and gold, and also in fine jewels such as diamonds because of their high market value.
Just jewelry introduced the "by the grams" concept, which involved weighing jewelry to determine its retail price. By doing this, people can get their favorite jewelry pieces at a much lower price.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Anxious About Money

When the very things that define us our job, our future – seem imperiled, naturally we feel insecure. But no matter how fearful you may feel about your financial future.

Here’s how to regain control.

1. Get a grip – list your concerns on paper and then ask your self “how realistic is this fear?” Not sure? Ask trusted love ones whether your worries about your pay slip or your terror of becoming a bag lady are justified.
2. Attack saving money as a family – establish weekly money meeting to discuss the family finances and to identify strategies on how to cut costs. Give the kids a vote and solicit their ideas on how to have fun together inexpensively.
3. Establish an energy fund – one really good way to allay fears is to have a reserve. Assembling a six month cushion of living expenses can seem daunting, so start by setting a small achievable goal, such as banking extra money a week.
4. Stay financially conscious – three successes you’ve had a capital conversation, such as bringing your lunch to work on more aggressively, such as quitting smoking.
5. Fight anxiety with action – facing your fears and taking steps to reduce your anxiety always makes you feel better start by gathering information, say, on how you can get less expensive health care.
6. Economize – trim every unnecessary expense from the household budget. Grow veggies instead of begging in front of the table. In place of a vacation, complete DIY project around the house.
7. Create new sources of income – clean out your house, and for won’t believe all the thing you have to sell.
8. Take a long view of time – remind your self that economy is cyclical. What goes up must come down, but what goes down also eventually goes up!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Money Making Videos

A lot of people are turning to the internet at the moment for ideas on how to make money online or in sheer desperation because they have been backed into a corner after losing their job.
Either way they can find themselves swamped with information in a very short period of time and become confused, overwhelmed and possibly even frightened by the prospect of working online.

I found the answer to this is to search and dig out as much Free information as you possibly can before you make your decision, taking time to digest it and check it out before you part with any money.

You will come across many places offering Free Money Making Videos as I did when first starting out. However, I soon found that the best opportunities are the ones where you can get all the information you need in one place, to the point where you end up with services or products to sell, either on an affiliate basis or a paid for business model type basis.

This is where some sites score more highly than others, with top class training videos on how to do anything related to your business such as marketing or setting merchant accounts. Basically a complete business opportunity in a box scenario.

This information becomes all free to you once you become a member of a club or site and you have the additional help of other team members who are just a phone call or an email away.

You have the potential to earn a huge income, in some cases more than a years salary in one month, however, this requires work on the marketing side you must be prepared to put in as laziness will not be rewarded.

Don't get me wrong it's not hard work, but needs to be done all the same, to get the results you may want. And you will have the time to do it because if you choose correctly you will not have to do any of the following:

? Cold Selling

? Speaking to People

? Introduce friends and family

All the selling and cold calling is done for you because of the quality of the product or the super presentation of the site that you have chosen to buy into or associated with.

These type of sites or business in a box opportunities usually have years of research and support behind them to fall back on. You will soon know once you start researching as most good ones give you information, such as free videos and use information up front, without you parting with any cash.

This last point is very important as costly mistakes can be made, particularly when jumping into advertising on sites such as Google Adwords or Yahoo, where you can easily end up spending more than you are earning, trying to promote your services or products.

A good business opportunity will provide you with this information, which in turn gives you a good sound base onto which you can build your business.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Consolidate your credit for a secure tomorrow

Do you have debts mounting on you? If so, consolidate credit debt and get rid of it.

How Do Credit Consolidation Companies Work?

Finance management companies consolidate credit debt of their customers into one big amount. When you approach them, they will study all your arrears details such as number of advances, total amount to be repaid, interest paid for each sum, repayment period and also additional charges applied, if any.

They will then negotiate with each of your creditors to reduce the interest rates applied on each amount. They will even try to get taxes, fees and fines on your advances eliminated. This will drastically reduce the amount to be repaid by you.

Next, the company will consolidate credit debt. This will be done by adding each pending loan into one account. Also, an average will be drawn from your various interest rates. This average will be your new interest rate and will be lower than all interest rates combined.

There are also many credit management firms that work differently. These companies will themselves provide you with a new loan. This amount can be used to repay all your other credit dues. Thus, you can club all your owed sums into one single amount.

Advantages Of Credit Consolidation

Credit control has many benefits. Once you decide to consolidate credit debt, you no longer have to deal with the previous money lenders. The consolidation company will, instead, interact with them. Your only responsibility will be to make a single, regular monthly payment towards this company.

A dues control program will also help in reducing your total borrowed sum and interest rate. You will receive a longer repayment period and a structured repayment plan. If you stick to this plan and regularly make your payments, you will be free from debt in no time.