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How to Balance Your Finances Without a Budget

budget-paycheck1. Hide the Money
It’s harder to spend what you don’t have easy access to. So be sure to set aside a percentage of your pay in savings before it ever hits your pocketbook.

Simply have your employer withhold money from each paycheck for your 401(k) or 403(b) retirement account. Make sure to reserve enough to get the full company match, if your employer offers that benefit. If you use direct deposit, you can request that your funds be funneled into both a checking account and a savings account (which doubles as an emergency fund). Another option: Have your bank set up a standing automatic withdrawal that will transfer a sum from checking to savings. Schedule this transaction for the day after each paycheck is generally posted, so that the money goes away before you’re aware of it, says Meg Favreau, Even after your emergency account is fully funded (that is, with enough money on hand for about eight months’ worth of expenses), keep setting aside at least $25 per paycheck to have a more secure safety net, says Brian J. O’Connor,

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8 Financial Tips for College Students to Save and Manage Money Better

freshman-financeIf your child is one of the millions of college freshmen headed off to school, your August might be packed with shopping, gathering textbooks, and packing up entire rooms. And while picking out the perfect dorm decor might seem important, don’t neglect the deeper subjects.

Now is the time to talk to your child about personal finance. As a parent, you have the opportunity and obligation to prep your freshman on budgeting and smart spending strategies before he or she hits campus.

While college students might roll their eyes at the idea of making a budget, knowing how to manage money is vital to the college experience. Whether your child is paying his or her own way, receiving your help, using financial aid, or a little of all three, college is an expensive experience that becomes pricier with poor spending practices. By passing on a few words of wisdom, you can give your freshman the tools he or she needs to start college on the right financial foot.

Personal Finance Tips for College

1. Create a Budget

Carefree high school students frequently spend whatever is in their bank account, living off their parents’ generosity or the spoils of

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downloadWe all have moments when our budgets suddenly take a nose dive, our movement towards our debt goals are a bit unbalanced, and our credit score just took a hit. Yikes!
How do we dust ourselves off and hop back on the saddle towards gaining financial bliss. Step one is to forgive yourself. Accountability is the key to financial success, and as we all know, it’s easier said than done. So you guessed it let’s try again.

Put on your Financial Seat belt:
Take a look at your regular monthly expenses. Can you cancel your gym membership? (I just did). After realizing that I had all of the equipment necessary for a successful workout at home, what purpose did a gym membership serve? Nada. It was a wasted expense being drafted from my account on a monthly basis. Totally grosses my financial taste buds out to even think about it. BLAH! Cut up your store cards (for now), or possibly forever. You can even downsize your cable TV subscription-how many channels are you really watching? Buckle up for the ride and turn right or left based on your financial needs.

Identify your Goals and Make

Improve Your Gas Mileage

Gas prices have started going down, but that doesn’t mean you want to spend a lot of money on gas when you could be spending it on other things. Of course, that means finding a way to raise your gas mileage and make sure that you’re spending less time at the pump. The first way you can do that is to make sure you buy a car that has great gas mileage. A lot of newer cars are doing this and if you sign up for auto loans for bad credit no money down you can get one of those cars. But there are plenty of other ways to cut your gas spending as well.

Keep Your Car in Top Condition

If you take care of your car it’s going to get a lot better gas mileage. That’s because all the parts will be working at optimum levels and it’s also because your car will have all the fluids it needs to work properly. This is extremely important for your vehicle and for you because it’s going to make sure that you get the highest gas mileage possible and you’re spending less money on gas.

Tips To Help You Enjoy Smooth Small Business Cash Flow

Cash flow can be a major concern for small-business owners. Sometimes, the cash flow pain can be caused by lack of creative cash management. Below you can find some useful tricks that can help you make smart planning and stabilize the ebbs and flows in your small-business cash flows.


  1. Be More Realistic

Instead of paying on the sales you anticipate to have, focus on the revenue you currently have. Avoid making payments without being sure your sales are in the bank. Knowing what you have will help you figure out what you can actually pay.


  1. Use a Payroll Service

Investing in a good payroll service can prove to be of immense help. This is especially true of collection and payment of payroll taxes.


  1. Have a Creative Payroll Schedule

Different business owners have different revenue streams. This is critical especially for those businesses that have high frequency of deposits such as retailers. However, it can be challenging for those having a slower receivables payment stream.


  1. Work with a Reputable Credit Provider

To dodge sudden cash flow storms and avoid falling in hopelessness, find a reliable payment processor like First American Merchant. FAM offers advanced cash advances to help you grow and expand your business.


Easy Tips to Repair and Improve Your Credit Score

Repairing credit score is more like losing weight, which is a time taking procedure. Most importantly, there are no quick solutions that can help you fix your credit score. In fact, every solution that you find out for improving it can actually backfire, so you must stay aware of all those advice that guarantee a quick improvement. Advice that you can consider for rebuilding your credit score is managing it responsibly and sensible over time. Before you start rebuilding your credit score, you must take a look at your credit history and make efforts to improve it.

Here Are A Few Tips That You Can Help You Make Some Serious Improvements In Your Credit History:

Verify Your Credit Report:

Credit score repair begins with your credit report. If you haven’t checked your credit report yet, ask for the free copy of it and find all the errors hidden inside it. Your report forms the most crucial element that helps in calculating your credit score, which might contain some error. To be more specific, make sure that there are no errors in your credit report. Your report must not contain any late payments. If you find errors of such kind, immediately issue a dispute

How To Improve Your Credit Score Systematically

Your credit history is also a fundamental determinant of your overall score. Therefore, you should repair it appropriately. Your credit history is divided into categories basing on the data used to calculate your credit score. These categories can guide you to correct your credit history comprehensively enabling your credit repair process to be successful.

Check Your Credit Report Keenly
Begin your repairing process by thoroughly checking your credit report. This checking is meant to identify any errors that affect the score significantly. Ensure that there are no incorrectly listed late payments and all the amounts owed for every one of your open accounts is correct. In case you identify any errors, you should immediately raise a dispute with the credit bureau.

Set up Payment Reminders
Timely payments of your debts contribute significantly to your credit score. Some financing institutions send an email and text message reminders enabling you to make your payments on time. Though you can enroll in automatic payments debited from your bank account to avoid late payments, it does not show a sense of good money management skills on your behalf.

Reduce Amounts of Debts Owed
Achieving this feat is easier said

How to Improve Your Credit After Bankruptcy

These are some of the following steps you should take:

1. Examine Your Credit Report – The very first thing you should do is obtain a copy of your credit reports and make sure there are no errors or inaccuracies in you report.

2. Pay Your Bills On Time, Every Time – Pay your bills and rent on time all the time. Remember your payment history is 35% of your credit score.

3. Bank Account – Start with a checking or savings account. Lenders may use this to determine if you are currently being responsible with finances.

4. Build With Store Credit – Apply for store credit cards or gas card. Use it for items you would normally pay cash for, this way it keeps your monthly balances within reason which makes it easier to pay off each month.

5. Secured Credit Cards – Apply for a secured card where you can deposit cash and charge against it. Pay advances back over two months so that they will be reflected as positive marks on your credit report.

6. Friends Or Family – Find a friend or relative that is willing to co-sign

10 Tips for Combining Finances

Talk about money matters first.

Discuss your respective budgets, bills and income. What can you each afford? What does each of you want in regard to amenities? If one of you is moving into the other’s home, consider redecorating, renovating, or reorganizing to make it feel less like “your place or mine” and more like “our place.”

Share your secrets.

As uncomfortable as it might be to air your dirty financial laundry, a frank conversation about your debts, credit history, spending habits and pitfalls could save you an even harder conversation down the road if your financial past comes back to bite you.

Understand your cash flow as a couple.

Develop a plan for paying bills together and divide household expenses evenly or proportionate to each partner’s income. Many unmarried couples prefer to hold separate credit cards and bank accounts. Doing so allows each partner to establish and maintain credit in his or her name.

Set joint goals.

Want to retire together? Discuss how much each of you will contribute to retirement accounts and start saving. Want to buy a house? Plan on having or adopting kids? Getting these long-term goals out on the table will help you develop a realistic plan. Follow the same strategy for

Acquiring Money With Life Settlements

As Financial Planning Week descends upon us, the hustle and bustle of getting your bank, credit union or financial firm prepared for this busy week is daunting. The good news? Your Financial Intranet can help by eliminating the dozens of emails that need to be sent to all employees, providing a central depository for all related documents to be stored and educating/training staff on financial planning week initiatives.

Want more good news? This blog is packed with great ideas on how you leverage your Financial Intranet to accomplish all this and more. Have a browse and let me know if you come up with even more ideas on leveraging your intranet for Financial Planning Week.

Share The Wealth

Quickly share financial planning tips that your employees can use when speaking with clients. Use a Multi-Variable Feed to have a ‘Financial Tip’ fed to your homepage or branch site, that can update hourly or daily, to provide an insightful or valuable tip that employees can share with your members/clients.

For Example:

  • Day 1: Take full advantage of every dollar you spend this holiday season, utilize reward programs (e.g. our credit card with air miles) to squeeze the most value out of your holiday spending.
  • Day 2: Choosing

How to securely manage your finances online

When once checking bank accounts, credit reports and making transfers meant a journey into the local branch of the bank or building society, online banking has dramatically changed the way in which the average person manages their finances.

Almost all banks and building societies now have websites and apps that allow users with access to the Internet to manage their various online checking account and saving accounts. It has always created a paper-free statement system that not only helps to preserve the planet and reduce litter, but to stay more conveniently organised at the same time.

With the rise of online banking allowing users to make quick and easy transfers along with checking bank accounts and statements, online security has also become a greater need for the everyday Internet user, especially as sensitive financial information is so readily accessible.

Managing your investments
How’s your investment portfolio doing today? Well, you could call your broker and ask. Or wait until the end of the month and check your statement. Or go online and take a look right now. You can ask your broker to set up online access for you, or you can go online and sign up yourself. Once online you can:


Financial Tips for Travel Abroad

Overseas travel is an expensive proposition and difficult for many families to afford. Still, there are ways to lessen the financial burden of an international trip so you can see the world without breaking the bank. Here are a few:

Get the best exchange rate. There are essentially three ways to exchange currency: converting cash at a bank before your trip, using a currency exchange service like the ones found in airports, or simply using a credit card, in which case your money is converted automatically upon making a purchase. So, which is the best option?

According to an exchange rate study conducted by Card Hub, international travelers can save up to 15% by using a credit card. More specifically, major worldwide credit networks automatically provide the best exchange rates possible–currently 14.7% better than the currency exchange companies that operate out of airports and 7.9% better than the average major bank. Yet you can’t just open a major credit card account and expect those savings.

Get a no-foreign-fee credit card.
Over 90% of all credit card issuers charge foreign usage fees, which inflate the cost of any transaction processed outside the United States. No foreign transaction fee credit cards don’t have these fees,

Financial tips for college kids

1. Use credit cards sparingly
Use credit cards wisely because this is a chance to establish a solid credit history. Watch the interest rates. Don’t be suckered by low introductory rates. Expect the interest rate, or annual percentage rate (APR), to climb above 20 percent in three to six months. Don’t use the card for routine living expenses or a night on the town.

2. Pay credit card balances in full
Remember: Credit is a loan — and it doesn’t come from The Bank of Dad. That means any balance on the credit card must be repaid. Get a card with a low limit. Shop around for the best deal and read the fine print before signing up. If you move, inform the bank of your new address. Guard your credit card number and close unused accounts.

3. Get the best checking account deal
Shop around before opening a checking account. Smaller banks may offer a better deal. Compare fees. Ask if there’s a fee for dealing with a teller, including deposits or withdrawals. Ask if there’s a fee to use a debit card. Ask about ATM fees. Ask if overdraft protection is part of the student package. If not, ask about

6 Important Tips for Getting Your Home Finances in Order

When it comes to financial issues, people tend to get a little edgy, and rightfully so. There is plenty of advice out there that is somewhat unrealistic or takes things to an extreme (things like cutting costs by only having one vacation a year or firing your driver don’t exactly apply to the average citizen). At the same time, focusing on comical penny-pinching at the expense of basic human dignity—e.g. not flushing when you go to the bathroom, like some people advise—won’t make much of a difference anyway. Such advice only leaves you frustrated because online advice columns seem to mistake average working and middle class people, who have a lower income and want to make the most out of their pay check—with down-on-their-luck hobos.

The truth is that there are some changes you can make that will make a big difference in terms of your home finances, without sacrificing much in the way of comfort. I won’t lie to you—it takes a decent amount of self-control, planning and some effort to get your finances in order, but with a good strategy you won’t be giving up much.

1. Find a big, useful goal or item that is worth saving money for.


10 Tips for Improving Your Finances

The vast majority of Americans are only one $500 emergency bill away from being financially destitute. In fact, a survey indicated that 62 percent of U.S. adults could end up homeless if they skipped even one paycheck. Out of this group, only 58 percent believe that they could make up for an unexpected $500 expense by reducing their other expenses, using a credit card or borrowing money from a family member or friend. In other words, there are far too many people who currently do not have any type of safety net.

To help prevent yourself from remaining or falling into this trap, it is imperative to take a close look at your finances and make a few lifestyle changes. Fortunately, this does not need to be nearly as drastic as most people fear. By implementing even a few of the following suggestions, you should be able to build your savings account and begin more effectively planning for retirement.

1. Do an Audit of Your Bills
When was the last time you sat down and thoroughly looked through all of your bills? If you are like most people, you pay the minimum due amount on each bill without paying much attention to

Tips on Opening a Savings Account

Whether you’re opening your first savings account or you’ve had them in the past, knowing what to look for can help you maximize its benefits — and minimize or eliminate the costs. “Keeping separate checking and savings accounts not only makes it easier to track your success on the path to your financial goals,” says Mary Beth Storjohann, a certified financial planner in San Diego. “It helps you to stay organized and have a clear understanding of your excess or deficit spending each month.”

Savings Account Features

When you’re looking to open a savings account, having convenient ways to access your money can save you time and, in some cases, money. At a minimum, Storjohann recommends that you look for a savings account that lets you access it via your smart phone, make mobile deposits and link to your other accounts for transfers. If you plan to make numerous ATM withdrawals, make sure the bank has convenient ATM locations in your area; otherwise, you could find yourself nickeled and dimed each time you use another bank’s ATM.

Savings Account Insurance

When it comes to features, be sure the bank is insured through the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. so your savings will be protected in

Basic Finance Tips For Beginners

There are countless keys to achieving financial success. Many people may find that making resolutions to change financial status is best done in the beginning of a new year. However, most of the basic keys remain the same regard less of the times the resolutions are made. Here are some of the top keys to going forward financially.

First and foremost, you should spend less money than you earn. It may sound simple, but most people struggle with this rule. No matter how much or how little you are paid, you will never progress if spend much more than you are earning. It is often easier to spend more than it is to earn more. You should therefore start cutting costs since a little cost cutting effort can result in very big savings.

Another key rule is that you ought to stick to your budget. It can be quite difficult knowing where your money is going without budgeting. You similarly can’t set your spending and saving goals if you are not aware of where your money is going. You will require a budget despite of how much you make. So save up if you need some computer repair.

You will also require to

10 Tips For Managing Personal Finances

Personal Investing

Many employers are setting up financial advice sessions for employees to help them navigate through the market downturn that has reduced 401(k) balances for most of us. It’s a good idea to take advantage of one of these sessions if offered at work. If it’s not an option in your workplace, you can review this checklist to make sure you’re not forgetting any basics.

  1. Consider investing a specific amount every month from your paycheck or bank account, particularly if you’re younger and just starting to save for retirement.
  2. Make the maximum contribution, if possible, to your employer’s retirement plan. Take advantage of the employer match, if one is offered.
  3. Consider investing for the long term with a well diversified portfolio spread between stocks, bonds or other low risk investments. This is especially critical as you reach your 30s and 40s to reap maximum market gain but with controlled risk.
  4. Keep investing in your retirement plan even through downturns. When you turn 50, consider if you should make catch-up contributions.
  5. Maintain a cash reserve to help with unexpected events including a layoff. Many experts recommend setting aside up to six months of pay.
  6. As you approach retirement, consider part-time employment to postpone withdrawals from your retirement

5 Tips for Talking with Your Aging Parents About Their Finances and Health

1. Start a conversation now.
Procrastination can be costly, both for those approaching retirement and for their children — and the complexities aren’t only about finances. If decisions are left until something serious happens, the results are likely to be hurried, emotional and stressful. And if you have to proceed without knowing what your parents want, it can take a toll on everyone involved. If parents become incapacitated, just making sure their bills are paid on time can be challenging enough.
That’s why it’s important to broach these difficult subjects and devise a plan as soon as you can. If you act before there’s a crisis — and before issues of aging may cloud the judgment or emotions of older family members — you’ll have a much better chance of arriving at solutions that work for everyone. “Open the lines of communication early and maintain those open lines throughout the rest of your parents’ lives,” suggests Cynthia Hutchins, Director of Financial Gerontology for Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

2. Approach discussions with sensitivity.
Getting your parents to open up about their medical and financial affairs before problems arise represents a role reversal in the family that many parents resist, cautions Stacy

How to plan an effective budget

Those who don’t address the situation could find themselves in a downward financial spiral that’s difficult to escape.

Here are six handy budgeting tips to help you balance your earnings and outgoings.

1. Boost your budget by saving on essentials
If your budget doesn’t balance or you’re looking to free up some extra cash, the first thing you should do is try to cut the cost of essential household goods and services. The changes you make aren’t likely to make you feel deprived – but they will help to keep more cash in your pocket.

Cut your energy costs
Gas and electricity companies rarely offer loyal customers the best deals, so there’s every reason to check whether a different supplier could offer you cheaper energy.

2. Cut the cost of your debts
Consider transferring your credit card balance
If you have existing debts – particularly on credit cards – these are likely to be an expensive drain on your budget. With most credit card providers charging typical APRs of up to 19%, owing even a modest amount on your plastic could cost a significant sum in the long run.

Taking out a 0% balance transfer credit card could cut your interest costs dramatically, allowing you