Managing your personal finance like a pro is important for paying bills, creating savings, gaining wealth, and savoring the long and comfortable retirement. Banks may provide professional handling of your finances; however, in this age of the Internet, you now have the freedom to choose from various types of resources in seeking to increase financial knowledge without shelling out funds.
Here are 10 highly reliable personal finance websites offering resources and information to help you attain your goals, from spending and investing funds:
1: BankingSense.com – Banking Sense has a unique way of presenting valuable financial news, tips, and advice without using highly technical jargon or phrasing that’s difficult to understand. Covering topics such as credit cards, insurance, small-business finance, personal finance, taxes, and more.
2: CashMoneyLife.com – Featured on top media websites like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, and more, Cash Money Life stands out as a reliable source of advice on personal finance and small business set up in a typical blog format without all the bells and whistles that make other sites so confusing, for clearer info.
3: MyMoney.gov – The only government-operated website on the list, MyMoney.gov offers its own unique spin on personal finance. It has information about earning, borrowing, saving, investing, spending, and protecting your money.
4: CreditCardForum.com – If you’re really into personal interaction and online communities, and for people who loves credit. It provides posters of tips and tricks for acquiring cards.
5: DoughRoller.com – This blog gives information, resources, and tips on how to make, donate, save, and spend money in fiscally smart ways. People who regularly read Dough Roller are intensely loyal because they appreciate the broad variety of content.
6: Wisebread.com – It is an extremely popular personal finance community that includes bloggers and experts in its membership. The most popular areas of the site are the “Personal Finance” and “Frugal Living” sections. It also offers a “Life Hacks” area that covers everything from technology tips to managing an organization.
7: TheMilitaryWallet.com – The site’s goal is to assist the military community in becoming fiscally smart and informed about the variety of benefits and programs available to it. Financial topics such as investing, insurance, and retirement are covered in detail, military discounts and post-military money management.
8: Kiplinger.com – Kiplinger gives you solid and accurate business forecasts. It’s seen as a trusted thought leader. One of the greatest benefits of Kiplinger is the variety of content available to the visitor.
9: Bankrate.com – Bankrate supplies plenty of information on bank rates, mortgages, and credit cards, but it’s also a source of personal finance advice in such areas as financial planning, retirement, and investments.
10: ModestMoney.com – Readers will appreciate this site for its honest and unassuming approach. Started by an average guy, this blog provides an unbiased and simplified look at financial product reviews, credit card deals, and other finance blogs.
When you are neck-deep in debt, you may feel that getting out of it would be next thing to impossible! But when you have the will to level up and pay your debts, you would always find a way.
Assess your lifestyle, adjust your spending, look for additional jobs that can augment your funds. Make a list of what you owe. Here, you can start by following these steps:
> How much do you owe? – It may sound like an easy thing to write, but this can be a difficult part as you may be still in denial. Pick up your pen and paper or make a spreadsheet and be realistic about it. Create a cash-flow calendar to get updated with how your spending is.
> Use cash in spending – Paying with credit card seems so easy to deal with; BUT, when you use the hard-earned cash, you will create some sort of awareness and value of your money.
> Create a rule with payments and spending – If you want to come up with a debt repayment plan, you need to set a goal or plan which is attainable and sustainable. Lessen rather than cut on spending. From the amounts you shave-off from your spending, make a record and assess how much you saved, and you can use to cover for your repayments.
At the end of every month, you will notice how much you saved from non-important purchases, and covered the amount needed for repayments, and interests you saved.
> Negotiate to reduce your rates – You can ask help in making this plan to work. Ask your lenders to assist you on how to reduce your interest rates. Perhaps you could arrange for a certain rate balance transfer of 12 month at 0% annual percentage rate and paid off within a year. Or you can just call in to inquire if you could reduce your annual percentage rate.
> Stop lending so much money to your federal/government taxes – Every month, an amount of your pay goes to your taxes. And annually, you get a tax refund. It’s just like lending your money to the IRS interest-free.
Rather than paying on your debt every month while the government gets your money, you should be using that cash toward your debt. You can put your money back in your pocket by adjusting your withholding on a W-4 Tax form. Refer to the government’s withholding calculator to figure out how many allowances you should take. File your new W-4 to your HR department and give yourself a raise.
> Ask for a professional assessment - If you are having difficulty on debt or are really unable to make payments on what you owe, you may need professional help. Credit counseling can be especially useful if you’re struggling with student loan debt or medical debt, not just credit card debt.
Financial uncertainty happens. So, securing yourself financially is the only way to go.
Credit card debt is a doom when you’re right in the pit of paying off and no stable funds to cover the payment is available.
Here are some doable hacks to handle your credit card debt:
> Assess your credit card debt –You’ll never hit your target if you don’t know where it is, so be brutally honest with yourself. Create a record of our outstanding credit card debt and its interest rate of every card you use.
> Negotiate with good rates – Get in touch with your credit card company/s and negotiate with a lower interest rate. A simple phone call and a polite request may be all it takes. Each lender has an approach in handling such issues. Once you get the lower rate, write down your new interest rate and check on how much you will be saving.
> Make a record on all your expenses – Write down all regular, committed expenses (scheduled payments), and keep track of other variable expenses. This will be your foundation to your budget. You can assess where to cut back, cancel, or downgrade some of your services. Spread your monthly budget into weekly allotments to better handle your spending. Study up to a year’s worth of credit card bills and bank statements to get an accurate sense of your monthly spending, and keep tracking your expenses with a notebook or financial software.
> Opt for your payoff technique – First strategy, payoff the highest card that has the highest interest rate, while paying minimums on your other cards. Once paid with the highest, repeat the process on your other cards. Second strategy is, payoff your credit card with the lowest balance first while continuing to pay the minimums on the others. Once you choose your strategy, arrange cards in the order that you will want to payoff.
> Put away your plastic – Store your credit cards where you won’t have easy access to them — but don’t cancel them. Plan to pay in cash whenever possible.
> Look for motivation and support – Build concrete goals and be focused. Write down your goals and keep them in your wallet or purse. If you get tempted to overspend, take a look at them to remind yourself of the bigger picture. Find a community/group to swap stories, successes, and challenges. A forum where you can feel supported and finally say, “I can do it”!
> Keep track of your financial progress – While you abhor spending time everyday fretting over your bills, watch out on your spending. Put reminders in your calendar to check up on your finances. Keep the page with your starting balances, and compare them to check your progress.
If you feel alarmed opening your billing and credit card statements every month, you are not alone!
With loan/debts, biggest challenge is that, it balloons quickly, kudos to the high interest rates!
Take these few steps to keep your debt from incurring mind-blowing interest rates:
> Pay More Than The Minimum Amount Required – Paying more than the minimum will greatly reduce both the time it takes you to pay off that debt and the interest that you’ll pay on it. Even if you can only pay $100 or $50 more each month, do it.
> Stop Spending. – This is self-explanatory, if you want to keep your debt from spiraling, stop adding to it. Move to spending cash until you can reduce your credit card debt. It’s tempting to pull out your plastic to pay for a new item that you fancy. But instead, save up the money first and then make your purchase. Remember, every time you make a purchase, you are making it even more difficult to pay down that debt.
> Make a Plan – You’ll have difficulty to control your debt if you don’t first draft a plan to deal with it. Target the credit card with the lowest amount of debt. Make extra payments each month on that card until it’s paid off. You can then move on to the card with the next highest amount of debt, making extra payments on it. Or, you follow the same strategy but start with the card with the highest interest rate, making extra payments on it each month until its balance hits zero. Then move on to the card with the next highest interest rate.
> Cut Unnecessary Expenses – If your credit card debt is out of control, you need to make paying it down a priority. One way to do this is to free up extra money each month by cutting down on unnecessary expenses. This could mean reducing the number of times you eat out each month and using those extra dollars on your monthly credit card payments. It could mean ending a gym membership. You can exercise without belonging to a gym, after all.
Just make sure that when you reduce an unnecessary monthly expense that you use this money to whittle down your credit card debt.
> Tackle the Reasons Behind Your Credit Card Debt – The final step in controlling your credit card debt might be the most difficult: You need to determine why you ran up so much debt. What were the reasons behind your excessive debt?
If you don’t figure out why you abused your cards, you run the risk of running up your credit card debt again after you pay it off. If you want to keep your credit card debt from ever spiraling out of control again, you need to take a close look at your negative spending habits and change them — permanently.