As it SHOULD be, paying your entire outstanding balance is best! But when your finances can’t accommodate the amount, balance transfer credit cards can help you get your debt at bay. The plan is simple and straightforward, transfer your debt from a high-interest card to one with 0% introductory APR, and you’ll pay off what you owe sooner.
You can check credit card companies that offer such. Look for the following perks:
> It offers extra-long 0% intro APR to pay off what you owe interest-free.
> Offers great rewards potential, with 5% back on rotating categories and 1% on everything else.
> Its first-year bonus for new customers can match the cash back you earn at the end of your first year, automatically.
If you have a huge balance to transfer, balance transfer fees might be your immediate concern. There are credit cards that charge no fee on balance transfers for your first two (2) months. Given the most cards charge fees ranging from 3 – 5%, this could make a big difference when transferring a large balance.
Here are some credit cards that you may want to consider:
Longest 0% Interest Period – It offers an extremely long 0% intro APR period with no annual fee, so you can make a big dent in your balance without paying a dime in interest. Discover’s popular cash back program makes it easy to earn rewards quickly.
Great Signup Bonus – offers access to a popular rewards program. Like the Discover it 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer, this card features rotating 5% cash back categories that change quarterly. There’s also an easy-to-earn $150 signup bonus – all with no annual fee.
> Chase Slate®
Best for Large Balances – If you have a high balance to transfer, rewards programs will likely be secondary to balance transfer costs and intro APR terms. That’s where the Chase Slate® really shines.
> Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Best Rewards for Everyday Purchases – Want a balance transfer card that will double as an excellent everyday card even after you pay your balance off? The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express hits all the marks.
Most cards offer a low introductory APR on balance transfers. However, it’s critical to look at the whole deal first to get an idea if the card fits your unique situation. Again, some of the most important factors to consider are:
> Introductory Balance Transfer Rate
> Introductory Balance Transfer Length
> Balance Transfer Fee
Depending on the card you get, the 0% intro balance transfer rate will vary. Remember, you want to get a card that has a 0% balance transfer intro period for at least 12 months or longer. This gives you ample time to pay off your balance.
Getting assistance during low tide of your finances should not be that difficult. There are countless ways to resolve IF, you are willing to change your financial status. There should be no circumstances that you feel there is NO choice but to turn to loan sharks, banks, and lenders which eventually leads to people become stuck in deeper debt-hole. Other, more positive options are available such as the following:
Credit Unions – a better alternative than payday loans – These are not-for-profit community-based organizations, the purpose of which is to offer basic financial services (bank & savings accounts, small loans etc.) to the members of a specific region who have pre-existing financial problems which often mean they cannot operate a high street bank account. As a charitable body Credit Unions also offer advice and guidance to their members on how to escape the cycle of debt, manage their money and establish healthy spending and saving habits.
Citizen’s Advice Helpdesks – you can ask around if this is available in your local area. These groups offer free and impartial advice on various issues from benefits, legal representation and housing through to debt and money management. They usually operate a drop-in service in most major towns and cities and they may also have a strong online presence which is full of well researched and factually excellent information.
Financial Advice Services – it is a specialist charity backed by the Government that offers sound financial advice, support and guidance specifically on personal finance and other money related issues. As they offer free financial impartial advice, covering everything from debt, borrowing, benefits and pensions. You may check websites to get an online assistance and they may even offer online chats to get a primer of what assistance you may specifically need.
Financial Advice services may also suggest websites for you to check wherein you can use online tools to find out where you stand with money, what areas to focus on and practical ways to improve your situation. They may also have a wide range of pages offering advice on how to minimize your expenditure on household bills (such as gas and electricity), mobile phone and broadband, insurance, accommodation, car and transport costs and also provide a comprehensive guide to benefits that you may be eligible for. These websites usually have lots of useful information including specific pages for students and tools, some of which are linked to below. These include a cut back calculator, money saving tips regular email, Budgeting tips for those on a low income, budget planner, a money health check.
Recovering from a personal setback will likely find yourself having to reconsider financial priorities in targeting where to focus effort and resources. Not all household debts will equally impact your family. First payment priorities should be all bills associated with your essential needs, including utilities, food, mortgage or rent, and insurance. While you can most likely find ways to save on all of these bills, by cutting back and negotiating lower rates, paying them is extremely important.
Also, having appropriate health insurance coverage is essential because a medical emergency could put a huge dent in your finances. Check out government offered health coverage or HMO companies that offer lower but practical medical coverages.
Here are some examples on how you can prioritize your financial obligations:
> First priority debts – would include your rent or mortgage, tax liabilities, insurance premiums, auto loans, and utilities.
> Second priority debts – may include other secured loans through financial institutions, such as a car loan.
> Third priority are lenders – this includes retailers, hospitals, doctors, credit card issuers and other unsecured creditors.
Remember, each person will have his or her own unique list of priorities. Realize that just because a category of debt is listed as a third priority, does not mean it isn’t important. It simply means you need to contact and make payments to the higher priority creditors first. For help determining your financial priorities.
Set your priorities – create your financial priorities worksheet, evaluate if these are “needs or wants”, then rank your payment priorities.
Priority – make a list of all your debts; rank and figure out when, and how will pay your debts.
On your spreadsheet, create the following tabs, and make notes on how will you resolve or attain your goals:
Paying off unsecured debt
Paying all secured debt on time
Saving for a down payment on a home
Buying a car
Taking a vacation-Having money for entertainment
Starting/maintaining a savings account
Setting SMART financial goals
Before you think about setting goals, review the five parts of SMART goals.
S A smart goal is specific. It pinpoints something you want to change to achieve.
M A smart goal is measurable. You can measure or count a SMART goal.
A A smart goal is achievable. Setting goals too high can lead to frustration.
R A smart goal is rewarding. Reaching the goal should be a reward for your hard work.
T A smart goal is trackable. Set milestones and schedules for your goals.
After you decide what your priorities are, review your budget and determine which bills you are unable to fully pay. Then, contact your creditors to discuss your situation. Explain that you want to pay your bills but due to your setback, are unable to. In some situations, you may be able to get a new payment plan.
If you are bound to resolving all your financial woes, you need to have a mindset that says “I will be free from debt now”. Yes, it could be easier said than done, but with sheer determination, nothing can’t be achieved. Let me help you with few steps to finally resolving your financial woes!
The first and most important step in developing and following a financial plan is to examine your attitudes about money. Ask yourself the following:
- Are you ready to accept responsibility for changing your financial situation?
- Do you believe that you can and will change the way you make financial decisions?
- Can you identify at least one benefit you hope to gain by changing your money management behavior?
If you positively respond to these questions, then you are ready for and able to start your path to financial wellness.
Assess your financial situation
Start your journey with a self-assessment designed to motivate you. Completing this simple quiz can help you assess your current financial situation.
Clearing out financial mess
Getting yourself financially organized is a great way towards financial wellness. But before you clean up, you should also know that some things are worth holding on to. Note on the following to keep:
– Grocery receipts and other nondeductible expense receipts and statements can be destroyed after they have been recorded for budgeting purposes.
– Paycheck stubs should be checked against your W-2. If it’s a match, you can toss them.
– Canceled checks should generally be saved for three years. Keep those related to your taxes and business expenses permanently.
– Utility bill stubs may be destroyed after recording, however, you may wish to hold onto these for a year to compare monthly costs.
– Household documents pertaining to buying, selling or improving your home should be kept as long as you own the home.
– Receipts from major purchases should be kept as long as you have the item.
– Credit card receipts can be destroyed once you have reconciled with your monthly statement. Additionally, credit card monthly statements can be destroyed on an annual basis.
– Individual tax return documents should be kept for seven years, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS has three years from your filing date to audit your return if it suspects good faith errors. However, the IRS has six years to challenge your return if it thinks you underreported your gross income by 25 percent or more.
Finally, before taking out the trash, be sure that all identifying information has been destroyed to avoid your personal information falling into the wrong hands.
Approaching “adulthood” can be rough, especially when it comes to finances.
Budgeting your first salary to pay your bill and other expenses can be tough, especially if you are also covering to pay your student loan.
It may be tough to start but it is better to learn the ropes of proper money handling at a young age. It’s common for young adults to be burdened with debt, and while not all debt is necessarily bad, it’s important to prioritize repayments. Better to pay down your debts with high-interest rates first. Loans that carry interest rates above 7% can be a major financial drain over the long run. Credit cards are often the culprit. Do nothing until that is paid off. Personal finance experts tend to stress the importance of having an emergency fund to cover unanticipated expenses to avoid long-term financial damage. If you are not set up to tap cash for something, it can derail you financially if you put it on credit card. The original expense can bloom because of interest.
Once high-interest debt is history, start stashing away money for emergencies. You can start by saving a 3-month cushion for unexpected expenses or emergency cash. Having a stash of cash gives you more freedom and control over your life, whether it’s leaving a bad job, starting a new career or exploring a new hobby or business idea.
You may also want to figure out what you really want with your finances. Create concrete goals can make a financial plan more realistic and successful. Setting goals that are “time-lined”. This will allow you to tailor your budget and set specific savings and spending targets.
You also need to be time conscious. So the earlier you get started, the better. First, the money comes out of your paycheck before taxes and also grows tax-free, so you won’t owe any taxes until you withdraw it.
Many of us leave the bulk of our assets in cash, which means they aren’t earning much from it. Explore the possibilities of “investment”. Some of us can be more hesitant when it comes to investing. But we have to know that fear can mean missing out on opportunities to grow and create wealth. Keeping a diversified portfolio with broad market exposure can help alleviate investing jitters. To get started, try to invest 1% of your paycheck and increasing the amount regularly. Investment can mean: “Pay yourself first”. Do it every paycheck, and you will never notice how far has your initial investment have grown.