Monthly Archives: September 2013

Smart Spending: Four Ways to Stay out of Debt

Americans are in more debt than ever these days. While some of it is unavoidable due to the recent recession, some of it could have been avoided with smart spending. Whether you currently have debt and are looking to better your situation or you currently do not have debt and are looking to keep it that way, here are four smart spending tips to help you get out of and stay out of debt.

Create a Budget  

The first step to staying out of debt is creating a budget. It is impossible to know how much you can afford to spend if you do not know what you are bringing in each month or where your money is going. You may be surprised at your financial situation once you see it all laid out on paper. A well-crafted budget will give you a roadmap for your own personal financial success.

Live Within Your Means 

Once you know how much you can spend each month, commit to spending only that much or a little less. Even if an item is a “must have” or a great deal, if you cannot afford it, you should not be buying it. This does not mean you have to go without any extras, only that you should prioritize so you can purchase the items that are most important to you.

Set Aside Money in an Emergency Fund  

Having a well-funded emergency fund is a great way to stay out of debt. Then, when unexpected bills and expenses come your way, you will already have the money set aside to pay for them. Totaled cars and hospital bills do not have to send you into large amounts of debt when you are already prepared to deal with them.

Pay off Debt Quickly  

Lastly, when you do find yourself in debt for whatever reason, commit to getting out of debt as quickly as possible. Pay off smaller balances first to gain momentum or balances with the highest interest rates first to save yourself the most money in the long run. Consider consolidation loans in Houston for lowering your interest rates and reducing the number of separate debt payments you make each month.

While some debt is almost unavoidable, you certainly do not have to settle for a life full of creditors. Use these four tips to minimize your debt and maximize your financial freedom. You should be in charge of your money—not the other way around.


Yakezie Carnival at Rather-Be-Shopping
Carnival of Retirement at The Frugal Toad
Carn. of Fin. Camaraderie at Faithful With a Few
Carn of MoneyPros at Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses
Fin. Carn. for Young Adults at Mom and Dad Money

5 Secrets to Breaking Your Bad Financial Habits

If you want to gain control over your finances and break unhealthy habits, follow the following five tips.

 1. Take Emotion Out of the Equation 

Some people spend a lot of money because they associate certain items with an emotion or experience. For example, a person may buy dolls because she associates them with her childhood and happy memories. It is a bad idea to let emotions dictate what you do with your money. Remove your emotions and you can work something out for the future.

2. Take on Frugal Habits 

Frugal does not have to take on a negative connotation. You do not have to dine on cardboard boxes and eat somebody’s leftovers. You simply have to pay attention to what you spend and cut off costs as much as possible.

3. Think About the Future 

It is easy to throw out bad financial habits when you choose to think about the future. It is not unusual for a person to spend money with careless abandon. They may not think about what they will do in a year or two when their bank account shrinks.

4. Do Not Overestimate 

Never overestimate the money that you have in your bank account. Never assume that you have plenty of money available for buying frivolous items for your home or friends. Ensure that you know about how much money you have available, and remember to find methods that will help you keep track.

5. Ask For Help from Loved Ones 

Though this option may appear to be obvious, some people do not think to ask people whom they know for assistance. It can be difficult to keep track of money and stay in the green without an outside source for understanding and support. If you find yourself scared or worried, call a friend on the phone. If this is not an option, go on the Internet and interact with people whom you trust on a website. Do not forget that you can also look for the best investment newsletters by conducting a search. These newsletters can keep you informed and provide you with tips and ideas.

It is vital for you to spend within your means. Do not believe that you are immune to the general pratfalls that reach people on a daily basis. The information above may help you reach your goals, and you may talk to loved ones to learn more.


Carn Financial Independence at Stacking Benjamins
Yakezie Carnival at The Happy Homeowner
Aspiring Blogger Fin. Carnival at Aspiring Blogger
Carn. of Tortoise Banker at Carnival of Tortoise Banker
Carn. of Fin. Camaraderie at Save and Conquer

Items to Recycle For Cash

Looking for a way to make extra cash? Try selling some of your unwanted items. So start searching around the house. Check out your closet, drawers, in the attic, garage and spare rooms for items you no longer use or haven’t used in years. Here are a few of the more popular items people have sold for extra cash.

Cell Phones
Everyone has at least one old cell phone sitting in a drawer or closet just getting old and dirty due to cell phone companies offering upgrades to their customers. However that leaves the old cell phone abandoned and never used again. You can search online to find websites where you can sell your old cell phone for cash whether it is a functioning phone or not.

DVD’s and CD’s
Wondering what to do with old movies and music CD;s? Now there are websites where you can scan your DVD or CD to find out how much it’s worth. Send as many as you want in one envelope and when the company receives them you get the cash.

There are websites that will buy your old clothes for cash. If you have items that are name brands you can get even more cash. So search through your closets and check for name brands, box them up and send them to these companies. Again once they receive the items you get the cash.

There are several companies online that will buy your old gold jewelry. This is a great way to get rid of old jewelry that you haven’t worn for a while or is broken or is missing a part. Be advised that if you have old gold jewelry that is a higher grade of gold your best option is to take it to a jeweler or sell it privately. Most gold companies are prone to offering a very low price for gold jewelry and you would not get the price that is deserved for more expensive old gold jewelry.

If you have a lot of old books whether they are hardbacks or paperbacks you can sell them online. There are websites that specialize in old books and have hundreds of customers that have a keen eye and will pay any price. You can also go to websites where they will offer you a space on their website where you can sell your books as well.

Ink Cartridges
Many websites buy old cartridges from printers and copiers for cash. There are also websites where instead of cash they offer reward points and will make a donation to your favorite cause.

These are just a few items you can sell for extra cash. If you have other items just search online under the name of the item to find websites that will buy the item for cash. For example if you have old golf shoes just search online under “sell old golf shoes” to find websites that will buy them for cash. You can also find websites that will buy old toys, sporting equipment and a variety of other items as well.


Carn of MoneyPros at Evolving Personal Finance
Fin. Carn. for Young Adults at The Skilled Investor
Carn. of Fin. Camaraderie at Fat Guy,Skinny Wallet
Carn Financial Independence at Carnival of Financial Independence

Best Tips on Saving Interest on Your Home Loan

Saving money on your home loan is very easy if you strategize properly. Many people concentrate so much on the interest rates when shopping for loan. They forget that even the other features are very important. Below are tips on how to save interest on home loans:

Paying in lump sum.
If you decide to pay off in lump sum you are definitely going to reduce the time it will take you to pay the loan. This in turn reduces your overall interest costs. For instance if you decide to pay $10,000 off a loan of $250,000, you are likely to shorten the loan term by around 5 years. This will enable you save a total of $108,000. This is a very large amount of money that you can use in other areas in future.

Increasing the pace of your repayment.
If it is possible, start to pay off your loan more regularly. You can decide to repay your loan weekly or fortnightly instead of monthly. By increasing your payment pace you are likely to save a lot of money. This is because if you decide to pay monthly, you will be making only 12 payments per year. If you decide to pay fortnightly or weekly you will be able to complete your loan repayment within a short time.

Consider a revolving credit account
If you have a revolving credit facility, your loan balance reduces every time you pay your salary into your home loan account. This simply means that you will end up paying less interest. If you decide to use Westpac credit card in making your daily purchases, you can get up to 55 days interest free. After this if you decide to pay off the balance in full, you will end up saving more interest. This is because you will be able to keep you total loan balance lower for a longer duration.

Health check
With the current competition among home loan lenders, it is advisable that you get home loan health check. This helps you have the most appropriate and affordable home loan for your needs. Try to find out whether the interest rate of your lender is competitive. Also check the features that you are repaying for that you don’t need. Try and figure out the benefits you are likely to get if you switch lenders or loans. The reason why you need to loan health check is that most of the time your circumstances change without a review on your loan. Make it your culture every three years to consult your loan broker and find out whether your loan is still appropriate. This helps you find out whether there are any chances of lowering the interest rate of your loan.

Checking your statements
The fact is that every human being makes mistakes. Banks are not an exception since they are run by human beings. Sometimes banks can allocate extra charges or fees incorrectly. It is thus advisable that you go through each of your monthly statement and see whether there is anything unusual.

If you follow the above tips, you will find yourself paying lesser interest. High interest on home loans will no longer be an issue to you.

Author Bio: Written by Mercy Karen. She is an avid blogger. She writes article for finance, home décor and business .Presently she is focusing on issues related to land registry. For any queries on land registry contact on land registry number.


Yakezie Carnival at Money Q
Aspiring Blogger Fin. Carnival at Aspiring Blogger
Carn of MoneyPros at MoneyPros