Learning How to Budget and Spend Your Money

Spend Your Money

If you were raised, as I was, in a family that lived from payday to payday, you might not have the least idea of how to budget your finances. If you think a budget might be a good idea, you might begin by looking for information on how to make a budget. There are a lot of books, programs, classes and friends willing to take your time and money to tell you how they plan and follow a budget.

The big problem with other people’s budgets is that they suit them, not you. You need to plan a budget that works for you. In order to do so you must first know how you spend your money; which isn’t as simple as one might think. Do you keep track of every cent you spend whether cash, check, check card or credit card? I’ll let you in on a big secret here. Most of us do not keep that close track of our money. Yet, in order to develop a working budget for yourself, you need to do just this; at least for a little while. The while will depend on how much financial trouble you are in.

I’m assuming you are in some sort of financial discomfort if you are reading this article. It may be as mild as not having any money for the last few days before you get your next paycheck or as severe as bankruptcy court is imminent. If the latter is your problem the very best advice I can give you right now is consult a reputable attorney.

In this particular instance the American Bar Association will not be your best source of contact. You need an attorney that knows the local laws and to find her you need to consult the local Bar Associations. To find that reputable attorney call or email your local Bar Association. If you live in a large city there will be a City Bar Association. If you reside in a small town or the country then you need to contact your State Bar Association.

As for creditors; Call your creditors RIGHT NOW and talk to them about your problem. Do not let things go on so long collections agencies get involved. Evading your creditors will only make things worse. If you are all ready in the hands of collection agencies and can’t pay them you really do need to contact that lawyer.

I repeat, if you are in such dire financial straights you are facing foreclosure and/or bankruptcy, do not waste any more time reading this article. Go find an attorney. You also need to find a Credit Counselor as well. Come back here after you’ve put your affairs in the hands of the experts and begin teaching yourself how to stay out of such trouble in the future.

For the rest of you, as I said at the beginning of this article, the first thing you need to do is find out exactly were all your money is going. If you already have a PDA you have a good tool right there to use in keeping track of your spending. You probably have access to a nice spreadsheet that you can set up to enter your data into.

If you don’t have a PDA there is no need to rush right out and buy one, though eventually you may decide to do so. An old check register can serve the purpose at first or, if you no longer have one, you can buy a small notebook for about a dollar that will easily fit in your pocket or purse. I like the marble back ones because they are sturdier than the spiral ones. The reason you need one of these is to enter every cent you spend. And I do mean every cent. If you drop a penny or two in the dish at the local convenience store enter those pennies and where they went in your log.

The next thing you need to do is set up a pocket in your purse, briefcase, jacket or pants to put receipts in. Put EVERY receipt you get in that pocket. Then, daily if you are using a shirt or pant pocket, weekly if you are using a purse or briefcase, transfer them to a folder at home.

At this point you are not trying to control your spending or make a budget. Frankly, that would be self-defeating at this point. What you are doing is learning where your money really goes. If you don’t know this then you don’t know where your leaks are that can be plugged. You also may not realize what is of absolute importance to your sense of well-being. This is different for everyone. For you it may be that having a cup of coffee from Starbucks every morning is so vital that you’ll give up any number of other things to be able to buy your cup o’ java. For someone else it may be a candy bar or the daily newspaper. You need to find your absolute, can’t do without it, perk and budget for it.

Very simply, for the next four to six weeks, enter every penny you spend in your log and check those entries against the receipts you accumulate. And, please, don’t even consider blocking a line at the gas pumps or supermarket while you make your entry. Move out of the way, then stop and enter your information, but do so before you leave the store and completely forget about the thirty-nine cents you spent on a candy bar.

The first day check your entries and make sure you entered everything. If you are shocked by how much you spent-welcome to the club. I said you aren’t trying to control your spending, but I’ve found that with money or calories once you start keeping a log book you begin asking yourself “Do I really need this?” Putting our expenditures down in writing and looking at them has an effect in and of itself.

Sometimes the first day results of keeping a log book can be so shocking you don’t want to continue entering data. Take a deep breath and remind yourself you are doing this for a good cause. Then continue to maintain the log.

For the first week, at least, check your log book at the end of each day. Once the habit of putting all expenditures in it is set you can back off to checking your entries every few days. This is an important step because of the tendency to alter your spending habits because of having to enter them in the book. Once you are only checking every few days you will slip back into your old spending habits, which is what you want to do for awhile. It is critical to really know where your money is going all the time, not just when you are keeping a close eye on day-to-day expenses.

Once you do have your information about where your money is going you can determine what is important to you and what isn’t when it comes to spending money. A quick example here is; does your morning cup of coffee HAVE to come from Starbucks or would you be just as happy with a cup from home if you had a coffee pot set up to have the coffee ready just as you leave the house? Of course you might not want to buy the coffee pot and coffee, but how about getting your cup of caffeine at a convenience store? If you aren’t a coffee drinker this example may seem pointless, but there is something similar in your life for certain. You just don’t know what these little somethings’ are until you see them written out. If it is a soda then consider buying cartons of cola when it is on sale rather than a Big Gulp. The can may only cost twenty-five cents as opposed to whatever the sale of the day cost of your big drink is. The savings in calories can be pretty impressive as well.

There are a lot of things you can moderate, rather than give up entirely, and have a profound effect on your cash flow. Unfortunately, if you’ve really gotten yourself in a financial bind, you may discover you are going to have to give up some very significant spending for awhile. For some it may be buying shoes, for someone else it may be buying the latest game as soon as it comes out. Each person has different “needs” to consider which is why you need to learn just what yours are rather than try to use a one-size-fits-all budget. Some people might be wanting a $2,500 PC for gaming. Others may be fine with the best gaming laptops under 300 dollars.

One final example from my budget; two things that are critically important to me are books and occasionally eating out. I will give up a lot of things, but these two I have to figure out how to keep in my life. For you it may be movies or clothes or shoes or the opera, but there is bound to be something you need to keep in your life to make it a happy life. This business of learning where you spend your money will enable you to make decisions about which money leaks can be stopped entirely, which ones can be slowed, and which ones you can only give up if there is absolutely no other option.

I have put myself on a book diet for the nonce. I use the library a lot. Since I live in the country I have to pay for a card, but it only costs me the price of one hardback book and I have a year’s access to a lot of books. Since I actually like to cook, eating out can be managed by reducing the number of times per week I indulge and, occasionally, taking advantage of coupons or specials.

A leak I plugged entirely was giving up my gym membership. I didn’t go much anyway and making a date to walk with friends several times a week has proved to be more fun anyway, as well as harder to skip since they will call and ask where I am if I don’t show up. I also gave up my audio book rental membership. That hurt, but I still have access to some audio books from the library so it isn’t a cut to the bone hurt.

Remember, regardless of how appalling the initial results are, you have to have this information before you can even think about creating a budget for yourself. So, get your PDA, check register or notebook and start entering every penny spent right now.

My next article in this series will be about how to make the best use of this information.

Avoid Failing to Make Money Online with These Tips


Countless numbers of people surf the web each day with a genuine, yet strong desire to realize their dream of making money online. However, despite their hunger and seemingly genuine desire to be successful, numerous people fail to make even a small amount of cash on the web. Only a very small majority of individuals truly reach the stage where they can actually call themselves successful.

So why is it that so many people fail when it comes to earning either a part-time or full-time income online? More importantly, how can you avoid becoming one of the millions who do not succeed? Below are three tips that are vital for anyone serious about earning a living on the internet.

  1. Stop jumping from opportunity to opportunity.

It is so important to find one plan, and to stick with it until it starts to make you money. The internet is so full of opportunities, some are legitimate and many are scams. Do your best to avoid anything that sounds too good to be true.

Once you find a genuine opportunity, work it to the fullest! Only after you reach success with that opportunity should you explore other business ventures. Jumping from program to program is a surefire way to fail.

  1. Don’t think that you will earn a full time income working 3 – 5 hours per week.

There is no way that you will earn a decent income online working such a small amount of hours. The only way that you can accomplish this is if you actually hire someone to do the work for you. This is all hype, and unfortunately, the internet is full of hyped up offers promising riches for a small amount of work.

Many people fall for these “get rich quick” offers only to quit once they find out that there is actual work involved to be successful. If you want to earn money online, be prepared to consistently work a minimum of 20 hours per week.

  1. Never give yourself the option to quit.

Take the time to find an opportunity that you love and are passionate about. If you can not find one, create one. Once you find this opportunity, commit to it. Never quit! If you are truly passionate about earning a living online, quitting can not be an alternative.

I wrote this article based on my own experience. I currently earn a pretty decent income part-time on the web. It was not until I became focused, stopped jumping from opportunity to opportunity and actually started to work consistently on one program that I saw the money coming in. The tips presented in this article got me on the right track, and I hope they can do the same for you.

Top Ten Home Business Start-Up Mistakes

At some point, you may wake up one morning wanting to be an entrepreneur. You are ready to bust out of your cubicles and start your own home businesses. While many succeed, many more fail. These are the top ten home business start-up mistakes.

  1. Starting on a whim. The morning you wake up with your entrepreneurial dreams is not the day to run into the office and quit your day job. Wait a considerable amount of time and see if you still have the desire a few months down the road.
  1. Lack of planning. I am sure you have heard the phrase, “failing to plan is planning to fail.” This is advice to listen to. Have a list of specific goals and how you plan to achieve them. Know how you will be paying your bills while you get your business off the ground.
  1. Pocketbook over Passion. We are bombarded on an all too frequent basis with “the next big niche” news. Avoid businesses you are not passionate about. If you are bored, or uninterested in the work, you are likely to quit before seeing a profit.
  1. Quitting too soon. It takes an average of three years for a new business to start turning a profit. Keep this in mind when making your plans.
  1. Not getting help. If there is an aspect of your business you are struggling in, get help. This may be marketing or technical help. It may be a mentor or coach to help you overcome obstacles along the way.
  1. Not being specialized. “Jack of all trades, master of none.” Identify your specific niche. Capitalize a few things you do exceptionally well and leave the rest behind. You are better able to market your business when you have a very specific target in mind.
  1. Not knowing your market. Take time to research what your target market is looking for. If you listen to their problems, you can better find the solution.
  1. Not having a contract. You are in business to make money. Without a legally binding contract, eventually someone is going to try to get out of paying. Invest in a solid contract.
  2. Failure to keep good records. It is imperative that you keep track of expenses and income. Set up a separate business account designated solely to your new business.
  1. You quit marketing. Keep marketing even after your business is off the ground. Keep your name out there. Set up a referral system for existing customers to keep a steady stream of business.

When you are ready to start on your entrepreneurial journey, keep the above mistakes in mind. Being proactive to avoid trouble is imperative to success.

Watch The Entrepreneurs with Donny Deutsch

“The Entrepreneurs” appears to be a retooled version of “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch.” It is also going to air on CNBC. It will be shown on Wednesday nights at a nine P.M. central time slot. The Big Idea may have become too focused on the issues dealing with pop culture and celebrity instead of focusing on the essentials of getting that business idea off the ground I was a fan of the show and a fan of the host Donny Deutsch, but the former advertising executive may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Usually when a new show is launched the host gets dumped as well.

This could be a sign of the times as CNBC; NBC’s business channel may begin to be losing viewers to the FOX business channel. I could be overanalyzing the situation as well. The founder of Spanx, Sarah Blakely which I believe is a comfortable version of women’s pantyhose which also are not as unsightly in the eyes of many women is the first guest on “The Entrepreneurs.” The other guests will be the creators of the FEED Granola bars. If Deutsch does continue to be on both shows I would worry a little bit about over exposure if I were him.

The story of how the two creators of the FEED granola bars go from being two male models-which is something neither of them really enjoyed doing to selling thousands of units of granola bars to Whole Foods is certainly a unique one as noted by Marketwatch. From Whole Foods the pair would expand their buyers to chains all around the country. It is stories like these that should make you want to watch “The Entrepreneurs” Wednesdays on CNBC.

The story of the risks that were taken to get a quality product like Spanx onto the market is equally as compelling. How Ms. Blakely used her mere five thousand dollars of savings to start her project. The biggest problem that Blakely had was finding a manufacturer who believed in the concept. She said that in the male dominated industry of manufacturing she could not win. This was until the daughters of one particular manufacturer stepped in and said this would be a wonderful product to have out there on the market as noted by the Women’s Leadership Exchange. Blakely hopes to make Soanx as synonymous with women’s wear as the word “Kleenex” became with tissue paper. She was also not trying to be raunchy with the name, but merely to make people remember and laugh when they hear it. Blakely noted that stand up comedians use a “k sound” to get a bigger reaction out of the crowd when making a joke.

Propane & Heating Oil Crisis in Northern States: It’s Time for Change

Heating Oil Crisis in Northern States

What’s up with the fuel oil and propane companies, and how can the government keep ignoring this issue? It cannot seriously believe that consumers are willing to believe they are going broke in today’s high-priced market, yet a recent increase in problems with some Vermont companies has the public up in arms.

Suburban Oil and Propane sent out bills right after Christmas to dozens of customers announcing that their monthly payments were doubling or tripling in some cases and that the clients were late paying the increase, due December 20th. The increase notices sat on a desk until they were postmarked on December 26th, yet many Suburban customers are now being hit with late fees, disconnection notices, and huge payments due within thirty days or else. On Georgia, Vermont homeowner said her monthly payment of $87 per month suddenly increased to $287 a month. With her 900 square foot home kept heated at 65 degrees when she’s home and 62 when she’s at work, she only needs her oil tank filled twice a year. Her last fill up in November cost her $800, so no matter how you look at it, $287 a month for twelve months is far more than needed to cover what fuel is delivered to her home. She is sadly not alone.

An Ultramar customer in Milton on the “will-call” plan didn’t order propane, yet the company delivered to his home a month after he’d ordered 100 gallons. His November fill-up was meant to last him a few months since he switched to wood heat, but Ultramar’s Saint Albans supervisor told him that they wanted to move everyone off will-call plans and onto their automatic delivery. This new fill-up cost 80 cents more per gallon than it had just three weeks earlier leading to a bill of $700 that Ultramar said would be due on 1/17 or penalties would kick in. After arguing that in June he’d talked to an Ultramar worker who assured him that she’d noted in the computer that he wanted to remain a “will-call” customer, Ultramar said the best they would do is give him an extra fifteen days to make the payment. Acceptable? I think not.

Worse, this Ultramar customer took the argument to the state’s attorney general who stated the only thing the customer can do is call Ultramar back and have them pump out the unwanted amount. Ultramar’s response was that there is a service fee for coming out to the house. In the end, the homeowner in Milton feels pressured to make the payment by working overtime for the next month. Is this a reasonable solution? Not really, a recent examination of Ultramar’s third quarter statement through their parent company Valero showed they’d made a $848 million profit, so it’s not like they are hurting for money.

This leads back to the case of an elderly man from Jericho, Vermont who made his $220 payment to Suburban Oil on December 17th. The payment was due December 20th to a neighboring town. On December 26th, he received notice that his payment was not only overdue, but that his account was being discontinued on January 17th if he did not make a payment of $680, the new monthly payment amount that Suburban deemed he needed to make regularly. Someone on social security and an $800 IBM pension is supposed to be able to pay $680 a month for fuel oil? His tank is filled three or four times a year depending on the average January temperature. He keeps his home heated at 68 degrees and has recently decided to drop that to 65. Are these huge increases reasonable for those on fixed incomes? I’m saddened to think that this man is now facing taking out a home equity line of credit in order to pay his heating bill.

I did a little research. Suburban posted a $21 million dollar loss due to lump-sum retirement payouts, but this still led to revenues of $154 million, so they too are not hurting for money. How can they justify needing customer payments to increase by up to 200%?

It’s time for the government to get off their butts and make serious efforts to help out. Perhaps the time has come to establish price caps on the entire oil industry. I realize the current government won’t do anything to help out, but for those in the northern regions of the United States, homes must be heated in the winter. We don’t have a choice! If something isn’t done to help out, this winter will end up forcing many homeowners to sell their homes or face bankruptcy. Many are already having to choice between heating oil or groceries now that the government has cut heating assistance funding. Those who once qualified for heating assistance are being told the funding is running out and that they must find another way to come up with the money. All of the senators, congressmen, and other government officials need to wake up and realize that homeowners are in serious need of help NOW!


Living with Bipolar Disorder: How to Keep Your Finances Under Control During a Manic Episode

Living with Bipolar Disorder

Millions of Americans are living with bipolar disorder, a mental illness characterized by extreme mood swings and sometimes erratic behavior. Medications are extremely effective in treating bipolar disorder, but no matter how good a particular medicine is, a person with bipolar disorder may still experience episodes of mania and depression at times. Manic episodes often start out with feelings of being happy and ultra-productive, however, it doesn’t take much time for more negative symptoms to appear, such as a compulsion to have sex or spend money. Indeed, many people with bipolar disorder have seen their financial lives ruined due to poor decisions made during manic episodes. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to help keep your finances from getting out of control during a bipolar episode of mania.

The first thing to realize is that your bipolar disorder is making you feel like you need to spend excessive amounts of money, so it may take some hard work and self-discipline to keep your wallet in check. As soon as you start to feel a manic episode coming on, you should be prepared to go into “damage control” mode. You’ll want to set a weekly spending limit for yourself–it should be enough money so you won’t feel deprived, but not so much that you can’t pay your bills. Once you’ve set an amount, go to the bank and withdrawal that amount of cash, then take your credit cards out of your wallet and leave them at home. By only spending cash, you’ll be able to keep tabs on your spending more easily, and you’ll make sure that you don’t make any extravagant “impulse purchases” that you really can’t afford.

If you find that you can’t stick to your weekly budget, it may be an appropriate time to hand some of the control of your finances to a family member or close friend, at least until your mania starts to subside. Pick someone that is familiar with bipolar disorder and your particular illness history, and explain to them that you need help to keep your finances in order until you are feeling more like yourself. This person can hold your credit cards and checkbook, and can help you evaluate any major purchasing decisions that involve spending large amounts of money. Make up your mind that you are doing this for your own future good, and try to trust your friend’s judgment when it comes to spending money during your manic episode.

Finally, try to avoid situations that encourage impulse spending. During a manic episode, you shouldn’t go to the mall “just for fun” or surf shopping websites “just to look around.” If you have something you need, go to the store with just enough money to buy it, and don’t spend time browsing or window shopping. If you’re still feeling compelled to spend lots of money after a week or two, you should ask your psychiatrist if it might be time to adjust your bipolar medication. The symptoms of mania, like the compulsion to shop, are one of the most difficult aspects of bipolar disorder to deal with. Luckily, by using a little commonsense and following this advice, you should be able to navigate the choppy waters of bipolar disorder without spending every last penny you have.

What is the Cody Principle? How Will the Cody Principle Benefit Me?

the Cody Principle

The Cody Principle of Frugality will provide you the reader with a common sense approach to guide you with in the outlines of the financial education, to get on the path of financial freedom.

One of the core principles of the Cody Principle of Frugality is to develop an understanding of the principles behind financial literacy. Once you understand those principles you can begin to implant and develop a plan to assist you in achieving your goal of being financially free. Your new financial IQ will provide you the confidence to take action and begin to implement your financial plans. You will begin to make wiser spending decisions, and you can control your budget.

With you financial IQ growing you will soon see the differences between bad debt and good debt. Bad debt can be defined as well keeping up with your family, friends and neighbors. You will end up purchasing products that can not help you, but only temporarily satisfied an emotional need. You financial IQ will guide you into making a better spending decision and help you live within the budget that you had set up.

Did you know that the average American family has about $8,000 in credit card debt. If you factor in other debt that is not a mortgage debt, then the average family is facing $18,654 in household debt.

One of the core principles that the Cody principle promotes is control spending. The other principles include that old saying pay yourself first. The average Americans median Net Worth is $120,000, that is according to the 2007 Federal Reserve board survey. So the question becomes How do you increase your Net Worth? How do you control your debt.

My common sense financial education guide will address those issues above and so much more. The Cody Principle is available within the pages of my financial education guide. This guide is available for purchase at= gt;http://www.BrianCodyPlantingtheSeedofKnowledge.com. You can also purchase this guide at= gt;http://www.Amazon.com

The responsibility of funding your retirement will rest with you dear reader. You need to take advantage of any employer matching retirement funds. So none of your friends, family, co-workers, employers or the government will fund your retirement.

According to the Social Security Administration, as of June 30, 2008 the average monthly benefit to you and your dependent is $1,084 per month. There are 35 million Americans who receive SSI payments. Did you know that some 52% of the American work force does not have a pension? Did you know that some 31% of the American work force has not saved enough for retirement.

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The http://www.CodyPrinciple.com will also promote the need to diversify your sources of income. Go to my blog at= gt;http://www.BCodyFrugalityAdvice.blogspot.com , and comment, read, and follow my articles on line. Focus upon your development of your earned income skill sets. Build and develop your affiliated marketing income stream, on line income stream, passive income as well as portfolio income.

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Finally you want to address the issue of protection for you and your family. My common sense Financial education guide; http://www.BrianCodyPlantingtheSeedofKnowledge.com , will address the issues of understanding the roles of annuities, insurance, Long Term Care, Estate planning.

If you follow the outline and principles within the Cody Principle those principles will guide you down the path to your own financial freedom

Get the Top Individual Voluntary Agreement Provider

Individual Voluntary Agreement

Problems in finance management have shot up tremendously owing to the ongoing slump. A lot of people got home loans, auto loans, consumer loans, etc while the market was soaring and on its way to better heights but unfortunately, it all took a downward spiral in the end of 2007 and everyone began to suffer from finance problems that they were unaware of during the economy boom. Suddenly, they were not able to return the loans, and in some cases could not even return the interest due on such loans.

In case you are facing a similar problem and there are absolutely no choices left and it seems like bankruptcy is the only choice you can make, there is respite. Apart from filing for bankruptcy, a few choices are available to bail you out of this finance crunch. The Individual Voluntary Agreement is one of them and is a very good course of action as it is an agreement with the loan lender that saves you from filing for bankruptcy.

Individual voluntary agreement functions in a very straightforward way by extending the time period for repaying the loan and this is a crucial feature of the agreement. The details for paying back your loan lender can be hashed out and the individual voluntary agreement aids you to do away with a few loans, too. In addition, interest rates on the loan plus monthly installments are also negotiable and you can discuss it with the creditor. Your house, car, and electric appliances can be saved as well, whatever the conditions are.

A lot of companies facilitate the individual voluntary agreements between loan lenders and debtors. Usually, finance and debt management companies guarantee the facilitation of this arrangement. It works like this: the finance or debt management company purchases the loan or a part from the debtor. In some instances, it does not purchase it, although it consents to come forth in case the debtor cannot or will not honor the agreement.

A lot of companies claim to offer individual voluntary agreements, but it should be noted that not all of them are properly equipped to handle the complicated loans. You should hunt for a company that boasts of a solid standing in the market and changeable work practices and those that have handled individual voluntary agreements before. Huge businesses that are handling these finance dealings for a long time are most reliable and these are probably the top individual voluntary agreement providers.

A few businesses that have shot into fame of late are sure to provide you with the best possible finance deal. These are known to negotiate acceptable individual voluntary agreements with the loan lenders, surpassing the older companies because they have created the procedure.

A thorough investigation for a better individual voluntary agreement provider is the finest method of getting one. You may seek advice from family, friends or colleagues to relate their experience in such finance matters. Also, go online and visit websites about debt finance that display customer feedbacks on individual voluntary agreement providers. It will give you a wide range of views and mostly unbiased.

Another option, though least recommended is that you go about it in a practical way. Subscribe to the company that supplies individual voluntary agreements and learn more about its functioning and standing. Like earlier warned however, it is not recommended because one may land in hot water and not get any relief from financial troubles.

Budgeting Money: Simple Ways to Ensure You Don’t Spend More Than You Earn

Budgeting Money

Start putting money back into your pocket by learning how budgeting money can help you take control of your finances.

You first need to understand the basics of income and expenses. If you can learn to control these two aspects of your finances, you are on the road to financial freedom. Being in debt is tough. If you are like many Americans today, it may seem that there is no way out. Budgeting money will help you start to reduce your debt.

Make sure that your budget plan is simple and structured. What is a budget exactly? Simply put, it’s your income minus your expenses. Starting a personal budget is one of the best ways to visualize where your money is going each month.

Start first with your monthly income. Always use your net pay, not your gross.

If you have multiple forms of income, you need to make note of these. Once you have all forms of income notated, add them up. Make sure to write down your total.

Now you will want to list your expenses. It might be best to divide them into groups. Try these groups: Direct Withdrawals, Necessary Spending, and Leftover Income.

Direct withdrawals are those expenses that are automatically withdrawn from your bank account or credit card each month. This will include house payments, school loan payments, car payments, insurance premiums, utility bills, and doctor/dentist expenses. If you have an electronic withdrawal set up from your checking or savings account each month, make sure it is in this group. Add up all expenses in this group and write them down.

Necessary spending consists of credit card payments, grocery bills, cell phone bills, dry cleaning, and any other expenses. This could include eating out on Friday nights or renting a movie on Saturday night. Make sure to list all of these and write them down. You will want to add up all of these as well and write them down.

Leftover income is now what you have remaining after you have paid all other bills. You can use leftover income for vacation trips, birthday presents, and large purchases like home electronics or furniture. I would also recommend budgeting money to set aside for your savings account. It is always good to have something set aside in case of an emergency.

Following these steps will help you start the path to financial freedom. There is light at the end of the tunnel!

Can I Refinance My Car with Bad Credit?

Refinance My Car with Bad Credit

With the crumbling economy showing no signs of recovery, many debtors are unable to keep pace with their finances. Most banks are shying away from lending money. They would prefer lending money to those with good credit record, rather than lending them to those with bothersome credit report.

Most reputed national lenders would want to stay afloat by lending to good borrowers. However, there still is a huge market for debtors with bad credit because they form a substantial segment of those looking for new loans. Admits the recession, not many people would want to borrow to buy homes or cars. This is why bad debtors are such attractive bait for lenders already engaged in a fierce competition with each other. A bad creditor is a definite risk, but lenders know that they can repossess the car if the debtor defaults again.

Capital-One, Wells Fargo, Citifinancial Auto Finance and Pentagon Federal Credit Union, still manage to keep faith in defaulters and refinance their loans.

Those with bad credit can ask the new lender to simply pay off the balance to the old lender and negotiate refinancing options. Lenders who are hesitant may demand the presence of a co-signor with a good credit standing. This human element of collateral actually does wonders to renew faith.

Buyers these days may not consider refinancing a car as it is a short term loan as compared to a home loan, however with the recent upheaval in the economy, interest rates can fluctuate wildly. It’s not just the borrowers who have to watch out; lenders have a lot to lose too. In such times, it actually may reverse the situation by making the lenders scout around, to bail out buyers with a bad credit.

With much of the paperwork already eliminated with the online loan application procedure, this has not only simplified and streamlined the refinancing process, but also helped cut costs for most lenders out there in the market.

Refinancing an auto loan is a good thing because of reduced interest rates and extended loan term which allows monthly expenditure to be allotted to other needs. Moreover, the positive impact it makes on the credit standing is undeniable.

Having said that, it is important to say that buyers may be better off, just trying to pay the principal amount completely to the old lender, if they can arrange for money from their family members or some other reliable source. This is because a vehicle is a depreciating asset unlike a house. No point paying $25,000 for a car whose value will be at $10,000 after the loan is paid off.

If refinancing does not work out with those unfortunate enough to have a bad credit, they can simply ask the old lender to lower the interest rates or extend the loan term while maintaining the same interest rate. Although this slows down payments, they may agree just to avoid the hassles of repossession.