Money Mistakes & Their Easy Fixes

Sometime during our lifetime we spend more than we planned, saved less than we should have or just made some horrible financial decisions. A few financial misfortunes here and there can add up to a lot of lost cash. Check out these common money mistakes and follow the advice to help put you on the path to a brighter financial future.

Money Mistake #1: No idea where your money is going.

What’s The fix? Making a budget is the best thing you can do to find out all the ways you are throwing away your money. At the end of the month you see you have spent $250 on fast food and $0 on paying down your high interest credit card then you need to make some spending adjustments.

Money Mistake #2: Not having an emergency fund.

What’s The Fix? Try and save a chunk of money in case something unexpected happens. It’s a good rule of thumb to have 3-6 months of expenses saved in case of an emergency. Set a goal and don’t stop saving until you hit your goal. If you’re not sure how much to save look at your monthly budget and figure out where you can cut to start saving for a rainy day.

Money Mistake #3: Waiting to save

What’s The Fix? Start saving NOW. Opening a retirement account in your 20s can potentially give you twice as much money as someone who starts one in there 30s.

My recommendation is to follow the Ten Cent Law. Take ten cents of every dollar you earn and put it in your savings account. It won’t be hard to Live on 90% of your income, and you’ll soon have a very nice nest egg.

Money Mistake #4: Using High-Interest Debt

What’s The Fix? If you are regularly overdrawing your checking account, using credit card advances or payday loans, you are essentially throwing your money away. Borrowing is OK, but those forms of debt are way to expensive. These forms of debt most always come when you have exhausted all other options.

Money Mistake #5: Paying off debts in the wrong order

Bigger balances on things like student loans and mortgages can seem overwhelming, but it’s the smaller credit card bills that can really hurt you.

What’s The Fix? Pay off the card whose balance is closest to its limit (having balances close to your limit lowers your credit score), and then start chipping away on the card with the highest interest rate. Also, refinance big-ticket balances (mortgage, etc.) to make payments a little more manageable.

Money Mistake #6: Spending money on items you could get for absolutely FREE

What’s The Fix? Did you know you can get music, books, magazines educational classes, book clubs, and even printing services at the local library? Just access their website and see what they have available. Also, get involved in a clothing swap, borrow from a friend instead of buying, and maybe talk a walk in the park or hike a national park instead of going to the mall. There are plenty of free options. You just need to find them.

Money Mistake #7: Buying NOW

If you MUST have things BEFORE you have money to cover them, you’ve fallen prey to the great American debt trap. Just look at interest charges – debt isn’t cheap.

What’s The Fix? Are you buying things before you have the money to pay for them? Remember, debt isn’t cheap. I believe in good things come to those who wait. I’m sure you’ve heard this before. If you can wait until later to buy that all important item and put money away to save for it, you won’t have to use high interest credit cards. That’s how you become debt free.

Money Mistake #8: Spending too much on housing

What’s The Fix? As we all know, it’s easy to spend way too much on housing. The rule of thumb is, you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your income on housing. If that doesn’t work for you, living with parents or roommates is a perfect strategy. And, when you decide to move out on your own make sure your mortgage or rent do not put your long-term financial goals in jeopardy.

Financial mishaps are certainly a part of life but it is easy to recognize your mistakes and learn from them. Make it your goal to stop making these common money mistakes. In the end, your piggy bank will thank you.

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Tips For Credit Reports – How to Spot Mistakes

How often do you check your credit report for accuracy? If it’s not at least twice a year, you could be one of the 40 million Americans that have material errors on your credit report. There are some warning signs you might experience without checking your credit score that might tell you that you have errors.

Errors with your identity details
Occasionally one or all of the three major credit bureaus will have incorrect identifying information on your credit reports. It could be as something as simple as an incorrect address. That’s a relatively simple error that won’t be difficult to fix on your own. However, sometimes your name could be associated with someone else’s credit profile. Make sure when you check your credit report you go through it with a fine tooth comb to ensure everything on it is accurate and all accounts belong to you.

Incorrect or misleading account details
From time to time a creditor will provide incorrect or misleading information about your credit accounts to the credit bureaus. But more seriously, they could be reporting an incorrect credit limit which would affect your utilization rate or the wrong dates for your mortgage loan. Sometimes something could claim open when it’s closed or that you’ve missed payments when you haven’t.

Mysterious accounts
If there are items on your credit report that don’t belong to you, you might be a victim of identity theft. In 2015, an estimated 17.6 million American’s were victims of identity theft. Did you know that two-thirds of identity theft victims reported a direct financial loss? The Bureau of Justice recommends taking preventative action like checking your credit report regularly for accuracy. While some people were able to recover funds through their banks or credit card companies, other saw much more serious events like stolen social security numbers and new accounts opened under their names.

What do you do if you spot errors?
My best advice to you is to work with a credit repair agency. The hassle of getting your details updated or more serious, getting incorrect, misleading or unverifiable information off your credit report can be a total headache.

Catalogue the errors well and then bring them to the agencies attention. The more prepared you are the better a credit repair agency can help. Getting mistakes removed is a difficult process but thankfully credit repair agencies can do most of the heavy lifting for you.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9485492

The Top 3 Export Credit Financing Mistakes Businesses Need To Avoid

Any type of business requires funds to sustain their day-to-day operations. Import and export companies face the same situation as well. Fortunately, there are various export credit financing solutions that importing and exporting businesses can rely on. With these solutions, these businesses will have fewer worries regarding the funds they will need for their operations.

To be successful in acquiring and getting the most out of these export credit financing solutions, it is important to avoid certain mistakes. These top 3 mistakes you have to avoid are:

1. Failing to fully understand your credit utilization ratio. Banks and financial institutions may examine the existing debts you have on your business’ books to see if your current and projected cash flow can handle taking on additional debt. You can avoid getting a rejection from these establishments by learning beforehand how to calculate both your personal and business’s credit utilization ratios (the amount you owe compared to your credit limit) before applying for a new loan or any type of financing option. Financial experts say that a good rule of thumb is to keep your utilization rate below 30 percent for both overall and for each revolving credit line.

2. Not calculating your annual percentage or APR. There are many numbers and fees involved with any financing offer. Interest percentage rate, daily debits, and service fees are just some of these numbers. You can understand and make sense of all these numbers by first calculating the APR of your offer before signing any contract. The APR pertains to the true cost per year of borrowing money and is usually higher than the advertised interest rate. It takes into account the interest rate and compounding effects as well as any additional fees and charges. As such, it is essential to ask about the APR when looking at loan offers. If you can, learn how to calculate it yourself. If a bank or financial institution won’t give you the information you need to calculate the APR, they may not be looking out for your best interests and it would be best to consider another company.

3. Not asking for feedback from banks or financial institutions that rejected your application. Lastly, if one of your financing applications is rejected, don’t give up easily. Ask the institution for feedback and make an effort to learn from the process. Business financial consultants say you should politely ask for an explanation of the lender’s decision to see what and how you can improve for your next attempt.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9531070

How Closing a Credit Card Account Affects Your Credit Score

Do you remember the excitement surrounding your first credit card? You probably applied for a credit card when you went to college or maybe your parents offered some advice. Either way, you’ve had that card since your teens or early 20s and it’s probably not the greatest card in your wallet. It might have a high interest rate, no rewards or a lofty annual fee.

Once you starting building good credit you were likely offered better credit cards. Your interest rates are lower, you probably don’t have an annual fee or a it’s a low fee, and you probably have access to airline miles or cash back rewards. So, why keep the card that is no longer serving you?

How will closing the accounts affect my credit?

The important thing to remember is that when you make the decision to close a credit card account you’re reducing your credit utilization rate. Remember that credit utilization accounts for 30 percent of your total score calculation. You’ll need reduce your spending habits when you close a credit card account or you’re likely to go over the recommended 30 percent utilization rate causing your credit score to take a nose dive.

The average age of your credit accounts is another important factor for your credit score. This is two-fold. If you’re newer to credit, it’s best to keep old cards open because they remain on your credit for 10 years. That card, though rarely used, is actually helping your credit – especially if you have good payment history. Closing it could hurt your credit far worse than someone who has been building their credit for more than a decade.

So, what can I do?

If you have a high interest rate or a large annual fee, try negotiating with your credit card provider. Sometimes if you tell them you are considering cancelling the card due to high fees, etc, they may work with you. It costs them far more money to acquire a new customer than it would cost them to waive your annual fee or lower your interest rate.

Sometimes you have to close a card. If it’s costing you money because the credit card company won’t negotiate a waived or lower annual fee, it doesn’t make sense to keep it. Your credit might take a hit, but it will recover. You can’t however, recover lost funds due to annual fees for a card you don’t use.

Closing a credit account should not be taken lightly. Make sure to consider the factors listed above before you close your accounts.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9493406