Author: Сcine Shaffer

  • Making a Financial U-Turn

    If you are making many financial mistakes – lots of personal loans, for example, no savings, or a dependence on payday loans – you will need more than just a few new good money habits. You may need to make a major change and make a financial U-turn to get on the right track. Here’s how:

    – Think hard and plan hard. If you have truly dug yourself in deep financially, you need to evaluate first. How did you get here? Determine what the problems have been, since you’ll have a better chance of success if you address any underlying causes for your current situation. For example, do you have a shopping addiction or too little understanding about finances to get on track? Once you know what is happening, create a plan for turning it all around.

    – Start with one small step but be prepared to act big. Start small to get yourself started. Maybe open a savings account or pay one bill. However, if you are really in deep you’ll need to follow up that small step with big action – maybe getting a second job or selling some assets – to make timely progress.

    – Go into survival mode. Pare down all unnecessary spending for a minimum and save as much as possible on the necessities. This may be hard, but keep in mind that it is only temporary.

    – Plan short- and long-term. Keep in mind that you need plan for the short term (how will you pay this month’s bills without a payday loan?) as well as for the long term (how much will you need at retirement to be comfortable?).

    – Get support. Consider finding a support group, a financial professional who can advise you, or a group of friends and family who can cheer you on as you make big changes in your financial life.

    – Educate yourself. The more you know, the easier it will be to make good financial decisions. Borrow financial books and audio books from your library, attend free financial seminars in your area and read the local newspaper’s business section.

    – If you’re having problems, focus on right now. Even if right now you are facing bankruptcy or collection calls, you can make things better with some work. If it seems overwhelming focus on right now – right now you everything is bearable and you can do one small thing right now to make a better tomorrow.…

  • Easy Ways to Become the Target of Financial Fraud

    Financial fraud can deprive you of your good credit rating, can cost you cash, can drive you to bankruptcy, and can cause you a great deal of stress. Unfortunately, many people do not take the basic steps needed to protect themselves from fraud. Do you make these mistakes, too?:

    1) Choosing bad PINs and passwords (and sharing them). PIN numbers are meant to protect you, but they won’t if you use them incorrectly. Never write your PIN numbers down and never carry them with your cards. Never share PIN numbers or choose easily-guessed numbers (such as your birthday or the last or first digits on your card. When using your PIN, cover the touch pad at the ATM or pay area to protect yourself.

    2) Not checking your financial statements and credit scores regularly. If you’re not checking, you may not be noticing some major irregularities. Check your statements carefully and if you notice anything unusual, correct it with your bank, credit card company, or utility company at once. Also, read your credit report at least once a year (twice a year is better) and investigate and report any activity you do not recognize.

    3) Not securing your computer. If you use online banking, use your computer for online purchases, or have any financial information on your computer, you need to make sure your computer is secure. Buy a good anti-malware security suite and keep it updated. Use a good firewall and avoid any unsecured sites.…

  • A few changes in your life can change your finances

    And can help you pay off your personal loans and can help you get back on track:

    1) Change your social life. Going out with friends usually means spending money, but you can change your social life to include free events and free evenings at home just as easily. The savings can go right into an emergency fund or savings account.

    2) Change your habits. Do you drink, gamble, or smoke? These are some costly habits. Cutting them out of your life improves your health and the health of your bank account.

    3) Change your style. Are you spending a mint to look great? You can shop vintage looks at consignment stores, bargains at beauty product wholesalers, and get a haircut that requires fewer salon visits.

    4) Change your attitude towards money. Money is a tool. It’s not your best friend, therapist, or the measure by which you are evaluated. Learn as much as you can about money and get into the habit of respecting and using it wisely.

    5) Change your home. Getting a roommate, moving into a more affordable home, getting a mortgage, or deciding to rent (or buy) can change your finances dramatically. Your home is probably your biggest expense. When you save money here, you tend to save big.

    6) Change your lifestyle. Big lifestyle changes – such as getting rid of your car to save money or buying a home so that you have an investment in the future can change your finances dramatically.…